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This RAM-powered storage is technically the world's fastest external disk solution

atto silicondisk
(Image credit: atto)

ATTO, a well known specialist vendor perhaps best known for its benchmarking tools, has announced a RAM-based storage appliance that promises to deliver the sort of performance that will make solid state drives look pedestrian and hard disk drives, well, positively obsolete.

The SiliconDisk is a 1U rack server and is available in either 256GB or 512GB versions and deliver up to 400Gb of bandwidth (via four 100Gb Ethernet ports) with up to 6.4M 4K IOPS and a deterministic latency of less than 600ns. That's about two orders of magnitude faster than an external NVMe Storage with the added benefit of infinite write endurance.

RAM disks have been around for decades, but ATTO's solution is the first that offers an integrated appliance all managed by its proprietary xCORE storage controller, which it claims eliminate bottlenecks in performance.

Jaw-dropping performance, obscene pricing

The device can be directly attached to a server (or up to four servers or outrageously powerful workstations) or fabric attached for greater scalability via a switch. 

According to ATTO, the storage appliance comes to life when editing more streams of video, capturing data instances for AI/ML, manipulating data sets and indexing look-ups.

We've approached ATTO to get a suggested retail price but given that this is an enterprise product with full NVMEoF RoCE v2 support, we expect a fully kitted appliance to cost more than $20,000 (eight 64GB memory modules at the time of writing costs around $2,500).