OCZ has updated their enterprise Z-Drive lineup with new fourth-generation R4 PCIe SSD. OCZ had a prototype of this SSD on display at Computex (our article). R4 adapts SandForce's SF-2000 series controllers, more specifically it has up to eight SF-2281 controllers in RAID 0 configuration. Due to the exceptional amount of controllers, R4 is good for up to 2.8GB/s reads and writes and up to 500,000 IOPS. The amount of controllers increases the risk of failure though, especially in RAID 0 configuration, so we aren't exactly convinced about the market of this product (OCZ claims enterprise but usually reliability is very important for enterprises). 

Other improvements include new OCZ SuperScale storage controller and support for VCA 2.0 technology. SuperScale controller is OCZ's in-house design whereas the R3 used Marvell's storage controller. VCA 2.0 stands for Virtualized Controller Architecture which enables TRIM, SCSI unmap and SMART monitoring for system administrators. 

Z-Drive R4 will be available in two different series: C and R series. Evidently, the difference is that R series has more over provisioning and protection against power failure, but unfortunately OCZ has not revealed any details of this. R4 will be available in capacities from 300GB to up to 3.2TB and in half-height and full-height form factors. Z-Drive is a custom order so pricing and availability are not publicly available. 

Source: OCZ

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  • semo - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    My old company had two of OCZ's "enterprise" PCIe drives. It was one RMA after another.

    OCZ are way over their heads in both the home market (abusers of consumer rights) and enterprise (subpar reliability).
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    We will be launching SSD reliability survey soon to find out reliability of SSDs but I feel you are correct. OCZ doesn't have a great record when it comes to reliability.
  • Souka - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    SSDs are just not there for reliability.

    I'm at an engineering company... huge 3d models, stress models, etc etc.

    We have our "power" desKtop-workstations that need fast drives on a mix of SSDs and WD Raptor drives.

    Pretty much 1/2 our SSD system have SSD problems at one point or another... meanwhile the "old" Raptor drives are just humming along fine.

    Same hardware, same software, OS Win7 x64 Enterprise.

    Also have a few SSDs in our server for better database response and file access... same issues.

    Just the SSDs are not reliable enough IMHO at this point. Fine for short, temp work. But even losing "temp" files can be an issue as some apps take hours ot days to produce a result...the "temp" is very critical data we must have.

    Oh well, just my professional experience and opion speaking.... YMMV.
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    My observations have been the same. All SSDs seem to suffer from some degree of issues. Some are software/firmware related while others are hardware. Definitely not what I would call reliable at this point
  • Mongoose88 - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    These might be designed as Cache drives within a ZFS Storage device, in that role the cache is a Copy of your data for quick access, so if a failure happened in a RAID0 config, there still wouldn't be any data lost as it would simply fall back to using the slower hard drives. Obviously reliability is still an issue regardless of data loss, no IT staff wants to be constantly replacing parts on their storage array.

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