The RamSan-420, TMS' thirteenth generation solid state
disk, is simply the most advanced SSD on the market. Its fast DDR RAM storage
is ideal for storing performance-demanding data and accelerating application
performance. In fact, the RamSan-420 is The World's Fastest Storage®.
No RAID, no cache, or other solid state disk is capable of the raw performance
offered by the RamSan-420.
The RamSan-420 raises
the bar for shutdown and restore as well, as it uses Flash memory as backup
media. This dramatically decreases the amount of time it takes to back up the
data in the event of power loss. It also dramatically decreases the recovery
and start up times.
TMS’ numerous customers have seen real world increases from 2x to 25x simply
by installing a single RamSan®. The RamSan-420 can accelerate
numerous applications across industries. It is best known for drastic
performance gains in OLTP, batch processing, and other intensive operations.
The RamSan® plugs into servers or fabrics through basic Fibre
Channel. It appears simply as a very, very fast disk to the network, able to
act as any disk or storage system might.
There is no tradeoff in reliability for performance. The RamSan-420 includes
RAIDed RAM boards for primary storage, hot swappable power supplies, and three
independent internal batteries (N+1) to ensure that no power loss or power
supply failure will stop the RamSan® from performing its internal
backup procedures to RAID protected Flash memory modules. Redundant cooling
fans and redundant data ports are also part of the sophisticated design.
The RamSan-420 protects both the primary storage (RAM) and the backup storage
media (Flash) by using RAIDed configurations. The RamSan-420 protects the
primary RAM storage media with RAIDed RAM-boards. As part of the RAID
protection for each bank of memory there is one set of memory cards that
stores parity data.
The RamSan-420 protects the Flash storage media with
RAIDed Flash modules. If a Flash module fails, a parity module will provide
data protection. The Flash modules are used when the RamSan® loses
power; the data residing on the RAM is transferred to the Flash storage so
that data is not lost. By using RAIDed Flash modules, the data is protected
from a Flash module failure during a power loss.
The RamSan-420 takes reliability even further by implementing IBM Chipkill
technology. Standard error correcting code (ECC) implementations correct
single-bit data errors in memory chips but cannot correct the multi-bit errors
that can result in data integrity issues. Chipkill technology allows a memory
system to correct a multi-bit failure up to and including a total chip
Combining Chipkill and RAIDed memory boards brings
unprecedented memory protection for an SSD. The RamSan-420 has 324 GBs of raw
memory capacity that is presented as 256 GBs of usable capacity after these
All solid state disks can correct a single bit error before sending data to
the server as a part of their ECC protection. The RamSan-420, however, goes a
step further by scrubbing; rewriting the corrected data to memory and then
verifying the rewrite to determine if a memory chip has a failure (a hard
error) or if radiation transients caused the single bit error (a soft error).
Systems that do not scrub single bit memory errors will either a) report
errors to a system log that will eventually encourage replacement of a memory
board or b) hide these errors, thus leaving a potentially unsafe memory board
in the system. Research on this topic suggests that 90% of single bit errors
are soft errors. In these cases, the RamSan-420 will correct the error through
the scrubbing process and prevent unnecessary downtime to replace the memory
The RamSan® is designed to look like a disk to the network.
Therefore, it is highly interoperable and works in virtually any enterprise
environment. It is installed in numerous environments including: AIX, Solaris,
Linux, Windows, Tru64, OpenVMS, and HP-UX. Hardware from Fibre Channel vendors
including Emulex, Brocade, Mellanox, QLogic and LSI Logic easily interoperate
with the RamSan®.
The RamSan-420 includes the most management features of any solid state disk.
Administrators can manage the RamSan® over the network or by
directly connecting to the unit. The RamSan® can be fully
configured and monitored from either a Telnet or a browser. The front panel
displays system status and allows basic management functionality as well.