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Pliant Brings Speed And Reliability To Enterprise SSD

Pliant Technologies has rolled out their Lightning family of enterprise flash drives (EFD). Based on the company's custom ASIC controller, the Lightning line delivers a high level of performance at a lower power consumption.  Available in standard 2.5-inch and 3.5 form factors, the new drives are designed to drop into existing SAS server and storage products.
The Lightning drives will launch in either 150 or 300GB sizes in the 3.5 inch form factor, with only a 150GB option in 2.5 inch.  Pliant is making some pretty impressive performance claims on their new EFDs, such as that their 3.5-inch flash drives can reach 160K IOPs with a throughput rates as high as 525 MB/sec for reads and 340 MB/sec writes. The smaller drives claim 120K IOPs and 420/220 MB/sec throughput rates. Pliant credits their propriety ASIC as well as the full duplex, dual-port SAS interface for the high performance, and suggests that a consistent performance profile is deliverable under most enterprise server workloads.
Reliability is also a significant concern when dealing with enterprise data, so Pliant has rolled in a number of data protection and integrity features. Because the storage is based on high performance flash, the Lightning family has been designed without a write cache. Data is written directly to the drive, eliminating the need for a battery backup or super cap solution. Patrol Read and Memory Reclaim operations are constantly performed in the background, and support for the T10 Data Integrity Field (DIF) standard is included.
Based on these data protection features, Pliant is highly confident in the life expectancy of their new drives, suggesting that over 5 years of service is attainable with their Lightning EFDs. This is without any restrictions on the write frequency during its lifetime. If Pliant's claims hold true, their flash drives offer a compelling alternative to traditional hard disks, especially in the high performance computing and high-end enterprise markets.