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HP launches the Z Turbo Quad Pro workstation storage solution

by Mark Tyson on 12 November 2015, 12:01

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacv7r

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HP has unveiled the Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro storage solution for workstations. This PCIe Gen3 x16 card can be fitted with up to four HP Z Turbo Drive G2 modules providing up to 2TB of super-fast storage.

"Head spinning speed" is on tap to those using the Z Turbo Quad Pro, says HP. The firm claims that its PCIe Gen3 solution offers data speeds up to 16x faster than a standard SATA SSD – that's up to 9.0GB/s sequential read speeds. Furthermore an "industry leading NVMe controller technology specifically architected for low latency for SSD," provides 3x better random read performance compared to a traditional SATA SSD product.

As mentioned in the intro, one Z Turbo Quad Pro card can provide up to 2TB of storage using 4x 512GB modules. HP says you are free to add more Z Turbo Quad Pro cards to your system, as many as you have PCIe x16 slots in your workstation. When you buy a card it comes with two M.2. modules already fitted. Capacity is configured by your choice of 256GB and 512GB modules. HP claims its module pricing is in line with competitor SATA SSDs.

HP has designed the actively cooled Z Turbo Quad Pro with data protection in mind. The product incorporates six onboard 'super caps' to correctly save your work in the event of a power failure. MLC NAND is used for its endurance characteristics. TRIM, End-to-End Data Protection, and Secure Erase are all supported.

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is supported on the HP Z440, Z640, and Z840 Workstations as a boot device and/or data device. OSes supported are Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (using Samsung NVMe driver, version 1.4.7.6), Windows 8.1 64-bit, Windows 10 64-bit, RHEL 6, SLED 11 SP3, Ubuntu 14.04. For full hardware specs please refer to the official product pages. Below I've included a brief rundown of HP Z Turbo Quad Pro benefits:

  • Supports up to four PCIe M.2 SSD modules (NVMe) in one card, PCIe Gen3 x16 slot required.
  • The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is equipped with Power Loss Protection circuitry that employs a bank of super caps to provide the power to fully finish data storage operations in the event of a power loss condition.
  • The active cooling solution ensures that the M.2 SSD modules will not throttle to low performance levels due to over-heating.
  • Support for single and double sided PCIe M.2 SSDs, up to 110mm in length.
  • One of the M.2 SSD modules on the card can be used as a Boot device, and the other devices can be used as Data storage. Alternatively, all of the M.2 SSD modules can be used as Data devices.
  • Additional storage devices, e.g. HDDs, SATA SSDs, can be used in combination with the HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro.
  • Multiple HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro cards can be installed into HP Z Workstations. A card with 3 or 4 M.2 SSD modules requires a PCIe Gen3 x16 slot. A card with only two M.2 SSD modules can be used in a PCIe Gen3 x8 slot.

HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro pricing starts at $299 for a 256GB version, and extra 256GB modules can be purchased for $199 each. Cards and modules should become available later this month.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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This just looks like a glorified M.2 <=> PCIe adapter - 4 4-lane M.2 slots into a 16-lane PCIe slot. The fact only one drive can be booted from and the others must be used independently suggests there's no on-board logic (e.g. RAID'ing) and it's literally JBOD.
qasdfdsaq
This just looks like a glorified M.2 <=> PCIe adapter - 4 4-lane M.2 slots into a 16-lane PCIe slot. The fact only one drive can be booted from and the others must be used independently suggests there's no on-board logic (e.g. RAID'ing) and it's literally JBOD.
Not entirely correct. According to HP Z Turbo Quad Pro Quick Specs
Raid Support
For RAID support, there are some specific differences and thus restrictions as compared to SATA/SAS HDDs or SSDs, because software RAID is used.
 Windows® RAID with Boot Configuration: Limited support for RAID 1*, No support for RAID 0, 5, 10
 Windows® RAID with Data Configuration: Support for RAID 0, 1; No support for RAID 5, 10
 Linux® RAID with Boot Configuration: Functional for RAID 0, 1*; No support for RAID 5, 10
 Linux® RAID with Data Configuration: Functional for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10**
*RAID 1 can be set up, yet will not provide complete, redundant protection as the boot partition is not replicated on both drives. An OS boot partition cannot be protected by software RAID 1.
** Limited testing has been done with Linux® to confirm RAID support and performance characteristics.
Note: When using more than one HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro in a system, please ensure that the card ID switches are set up correctly. See installation guide for complete details.
(highlighting is mine)

That said, surely one with HW RAID (and I agree with you that this would be a more desirable unit!) would also be a lot more expensive - after all this is HP's “Professional” line we're talking about! ;)

Interesting to see that the DataSheet and FAQs links on the Turbo Drive Quad Pro web page go to Z series workstation info, not that for the drive. Think someone messed up at HP Central… (I'll try and get around to reporting it)
I like the idea for scratch disks if it had hardware raid and came in a shorter case… no idea why it needs to be so long, they could have just had an ‘extender’ for the server brackets.

For those liking the idea it's basically ‘two’ of these addonics cards which cost like $30. The addonics uses a 4-Lane PCIe 3.0 with upto 40gbps bandwidth and has 2 slots (plus 2x sata 3 ports) but it's little different in terms of features like raid. I suspect we might even see a 4 slot on an gen 3 8x pcie slot at some point.
No hardware RAID? Good for a ZFS pool then /drool
LSG501
I like the idea for scratch disks if it had hardware raid and came in a shorter case… no idea why it needs to be so long, they could have just had an ‘extender’ for the server brackets.

For those liking the idea it's basically ‘two’ of these addonics cards which cost like $30. The addonics uses a 4-Lane PCIe 3.0 with upto 40gbps bandwidth and has 2 slots (plus 2x sata 3 ports) but it's little different in terms of features like raid. I suspect we might even see a 4 slot on an gen 3 8x pcie slot at some point.

The Addonic card though only allows 1 PCIE M.2 card though the other slots are for SATA M.2 which actually use the motherboards internal SATA connectors to host them.

The HP card allows upto 4 M.2 PCIE cards, which for example on my Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK motherboard would be awesome as I currently have 2 M.2 PCIE cards with adapters in and 2 GPU's and 1 Soundblaster ZXR card.

So am out of slots and could really do with some more, so with a card like the HP I could claim back at least one of the x16 slots, one day will have to upgrade to one of the new motherboards with a couple of M.2 PCIE 3.0 x4 slots already on board.