Hitachi GST has announced its intention to jump on the SSD bandwagon with the launch of a trio of enterprise-grade devices featuring blazing-fast performance.

The Hitachi UltraStar SSD400S series, available in 400GB, 200GB, and 100GB capacities, are aimed firmly at the high-performance enterprise grade market. Dispensing with the usual SATA connectivity, two versions will be offered: a 2.5in model featuring 6Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) connectivity, and a 3.5in version with 4Gb/s fibre channel.

The performance figures Hitachi has released for the drives are mind-blowingly impressive. The SLC-based devices can reach up to 535MB/s read and 500MB/s write on a single drive through the SAS connection, or a still impressive 390MB/s read and 340MB/s write on the FCAL edition. Read and write IOPS are up there with the best, too, at 46,000 and 13,000 respectively based on random 4K blocks.

Both drives are extremely power efficient, lacking moving parts, with Hitachi rating the devices at a mere 5.5W typical operating draw - a significant saving in power and cooling requirements for storage-heavy data centres.

The company's first drive is clearly a performance winner, but there's one very important piece of information missing from Hitachi's announcement: the price. With SLC NAND flash fetching a considerable premium over the more common MLC variant, the included five-year warranty, and Hitachi's obvious aim at the high-end enterprise market with the lack of a SATA option, expect to pay through the nose for these drives.

Are you amazed at the performance Hitachi has managed to squeeze out of the drives, or dismissive of the announcement until the company comes clean about pricing? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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