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Apex Storage X21 Carries 21 M.2 SSDs: 168 TB of NAND at as much as 31 GB/second

Riser playing cards carrying a number of M.2-2280 SSDs are nothing new, however Apex Storage went above and past with its new X21 board, which might carry as much as 21 M.2 drives. The add-in-card is geared toward functions that reap the benefits of each excessive storage capacities and efficiency, together with databases in addition to machine studying functions. At most capability and utilization, the X21 can maintain 168 TB of M.2 storage, operating at a peak sequential learn/write velocity of as much as 31 GB/s.

The Apex Storage X21 is a dual-PCB add-in-card with a PCIe x16 interface that’s based mostly round an unspecified PCIe Gen4 change system (ed: and what appears like 2 switches) coated with a big heatsink. The AIC has 21 M.2-2280 slots for SSDs, and utilizing 8 TB M.2 drives it might supply as much as 168 TB storage capability when totally populated – and twice that after 16 TB M.2 SSDs change into obtainable.

Apex Storage says that when geared up with quick SSDs, an X21 will have the ability to supply sequential learn speeds of as much as 30.5 GB/s in addition to sequential write speeds of as much as 28.5 GB/s, totally saturating the PCIe 4.0 x16 interface and abandoning all SSDs obtainable right now. The X21 riser card additionally guarantees over 10 million random learn/write IOPS (7.5M learn IOPS, 6.2M write IOPS) in addition to a mean latency of 79µs and 52µs for reads and writes, respectively. 

Actually, given the whole variety of drives used, it’s attainable that even previous-generation SSDs with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface will have the ability to assure extraordinarily excessive efficiency on this setup. Nonetheless, to get the utmost efficiency and reap the benefits of the NVMe 2.0 protocol, Apex Storage recommends utilizing drives with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface and up-to-date function set. 

In fact, 21 M.2 SSDs eat numerous energy, so the cardboard comes with two six-pin auxiliary PCIe energy connectors that may ship as much as 150W to the cardboard. It’s unclear how a lot energy the X21 AIC can suck from the PCIe slot as effectively, however in concept the mixture of the 2 connectors and the slot can present as much as 225W to the drives, or a bit over 10 Watts per drive. The cramped card doesn't supply a lot in the way in which of cooling, nevertheless, so Apex Storage recommends utilizing exterior followers that present airflow of not less than 400 LFM – basically requiring a server-style blower configuration.

Apex Storage's X21 adapters can work in multi-card configurations offered that their host has sufficient PCIe Gen4 lanes. With a multi-card storage subsystem we’re taking a look at as much as 107 GB/s sequential learn efficiency in addition to 70 GB/s sequential write efficiency, which is similar to throughput supplied by all-flash-arrays which can be usually significantly greater.  

Apex Storage didn’t contact upon availability timeframe in addition to pricing of its X21 card.

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