Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, IBM and Intel have formed a working group to create better form factors and faster connections for solid-state drives.
The working group's aim is to take existing standards and add in PCIe, or Peripheral Component Interconnect Express). PCIe is a computer expansion card standard for standard PCs. "We're not looking to replace existing standards, but looking to improve end user benefits with PCIe," said Pappas. "We're not taking anything away. This is incremental improvements."
Gary Kotzur, technology strategist at Dell, outlined the group's charter, which revolves around enterprise SSD storage. The group just kicked off today and aims to have a standard some time in 2011.
Pappas added that the group aims to:
- Increase performance with PCIe;
- Improve availability and serviceability;
- Be compatible with storage connections;
- Improve power efficiency;
- Reduce costs.
Pappas said the group is looking to make SSD drives hot-pluggable with improved latency.
Kotzur said that there are PCIe SSD cards today, but they aren't prevalent. The idea behind the working group is to develop products with direct PCIe connections to storage.
Overall, the working group is solid with most of the key SSD players contributing. "We feel we have a collection of companies we need to build compatible products," said Pappas. However, there are notable omissions such as Hewlett-Packard and NetApp. Pappas said "any company can join" the working group.