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Kingston Unveils E1000 NVMe Enterprise SSD At CES 2016

By - Source: Toms IT Pro
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Kingston displayed its newest NVMe SSD at CES 2016. The E1000 AIC (Add-In Card) is an NVMe-powered HHHL form factor SSD that Kingston developed in concert with Liqid, a company that is still operating in stealth mode. Liqid has much larger projects in the works, but we can see that whatever it has under wraps is clearly of the flash-powered variety.

The Kingston E1000 AIC aggregates the performance and endurance of four M.2 SSDs onto a single Add-In Card. This provides up to 1.25 million IOPS and 6 GBps of sequential throughput per card. The E1000 has a unique heatsink arrangement that helps to cool the underlying M.2 SSDs in high-heat server environments. It also sports a row of seven beefy capacitors, which provide power fail protection in the event of an unsafe power loss.

The E1000 itself actually issues a power-loss imminent command to each of the four cards if the host suffers a power interruption, which instructs the SSDs to flush all data in the cache to the underlying NAND.

One of the benefits of providing power loss protection to client-grade M.2 SSDs is the reduced cost, but it also increases the performance and endurance of the underlying SSDs by spreading the workload among the SSDs. A typical SSD falls to a lower level of performance, referred to as steady state, once it is subjected to sustained load. A group of SSDs working in tandem provides a tangible increase in the steady state performance, which is attractive for administrators seeking predictable performance for high-performance workloads.

Kingston displayed a server with six E1000s on board that generated 3.26 million IOPS spread among 10 VMs.

The slim 1U server highlights the increased performance and storage density attainable with the E1000. Two Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 CPUs (a staple in our lab), 256 GB of Kingston DDR4 DRAM and 48 TB of Kingston SSD storage spread among six E1000's powered the Kingston demo.

The demo system was able to achieve up to 12.5 GBps of sequential throughput, which is actually below the theoretical maximum performance of six E1000 SSDs. The disparity in performance is likely due to system-level restrictions that adversely affect performance scalability. Beefier systems will be able to provide even more performance from a similar SSD configuration. 

Kingston indicated that the E1000 will be available in the second half of 2016. Liqid received $5.7 million in seed funding in May 2015, which was led by Kingston, Phison and various investor groups. Liqid has a whitepaper detailing the architecture of the new E1000 SSD, which is available on its website (PDF).

Paul Alcorn is a Contributing Editor for Tom's IT Pro, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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