Fast and Flexible Data Storage Options for PXI

Publish Date: Mar 22, 2016 | 2 Ratings | 4.50 out of 5 | Print

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Expandable Solution for Streaming up to 2.8 GB/s to/from Disk
  3. Support for various RAID options
  4. Sustained Streaming Rates for Reliable System Operation
  5. Software Support and Examples
  6. Case Studies
  7. Conclusion
  8. Other NI PXI Design Advantages

1. Overview

National Instruments offers variety of high-speed data-streaming devices ranging from in-chassis and portable products to external rackmount solutions with extended capacities to address the needs of various complex applications such as RF record and playback and IF or baseband streaming. Table 1 gives an overview of the currently available products and options from National Instruments. 

 

Product Product Type Storage Capacity & Technology Sustained Data Write Speeds (MB/s) Sustained Data Read Speeds (MB/s)
NI 8260 In-chassis Module 1 TB HDD 200 MB/s 200 MB/s
NI 8260 In-chassis Module 3 TB HDD 200 MB/s 200 MB/s
NI 8260 In-chassis Module 1 TB SSD 400 MB/s 400 MB/s
NI HDD-8263 External Rackmount 1 TB HDD 200 MB/s 200 MB/s
NI HDD-8263 External Rackmount 2 TB HDD 200 MB/s 200 MB/s
NI HDD-8264 External Rackmount 3 TB HDD 600 MB/s 600 MB/s
NI HDD-8265 External Rackmount 6 TB HDD 750 MB/s 750 MB/s
NI HDD-8265 External Rackmount 12 TB HDD 750 MB/s 750 MB/s
NI HDD-8265 External Rackmount 24 TB HDD 750 MB/s 750 MB/s
NI HDD-8266 External Rackmount 24 TB HDD 750 MB/s 750 MB/s
NI HDD-8266 External Rackmount 3.5 TB SAS 3.5 GB/s 3.5 GB/s
NI HDD-8266 External Rackmount 24 TB SATA 1.6 GB/s 1.6 GB/s

Table 1: High-speed data-storage products and options

 

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2. Expandable Solution for Streaming up to 2.8 GB/s to/from Disk

Data storage products from National Instruments utilize PCI Express as the communication bus for interacting with the PXI system. This feature allows the utilization of multiple data storage devices in a single PXI Express system. This capability can be utilized to either increase the overall data storage capacity of the system or to provide higher data streaming rates. For example, four NI HDD-8265 RAID arrays interfaced to a single PXIe-1075 PXI Express chassis can provide 96 TBytes of storage capacity and 2.8 GB/s stream to/from disk data rates. Figure 1 illustrates this system configuration. 

 

Figure 1: Example of a PXI Express system with 2.8 GB/s of data streaming rates

 

 

Another example, in a high-performance PXI Express chassis such as the NI PXIe-1085, you can increase the total stream to/from disk rates by using multiple HDD-8266 RAID enclosures. For example, in a single NI PXIe-1085 chassis with an NI PXIe-8135 embedded controller, you can interface two HDD-8266 enclosures to achieve a total stream to/from data rate of 7.2 GB/s.

 

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3. Support for various RAID options

Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID), also known as Redundant Array of Independent Drives, is a general term for mass storage schemes that split or replicate data across multiple hard drives. Some RAID modes allow for very high bandwidth applications to stream data to hard drives, and others allow redundancy where a hard drive failure will not cause data loss.

 

National Instruments offers data storage products that support various RAID modes such as RAID-0,1,5,6 and 10. The availability of these modes gives the user ultimate flexibility to choose the right balance between performance and redundancy for their application.

 

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4. Sustained Streaming Rates for Reliable System Operation

National Instrument spends a lot of time during the development of data storage products in picking the right combination of RAID controller and hard-drives. This is mainly due to the fact that we guarantee the sustained data read and write performance of our data storage products, as this is the most critical requirement of a record and playback application. For example, as illustrated in the graph below, the NI HDD-8265 product has a sustained read or write specification of 750MB/s in RAID-0 mode that can be sustained for 90% of the total storage capacity. 

 

 

Figure 2: Sustained data write performance of the NI HDD-8265in RAID-0

 

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5. Software Support and Examples

In order to get started with your streaming application NI provides a wide variety of examples and sample code. The links provided below will allow you to explore how to use different NI products to stream to disk. The product specific sample code will not only provide you with a means to use advanced features for each product but also very basic functionality for the new user. 

 

RF

   
DSA/High Channel Count Data Acquisition
  
   
High-Speed Digital IO
  
   
High-Speed Digitizers
 
Arbitrary Waveform Generators
 

 

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6. Case Studies

National Instruments released its first set of data storage products back in 2007. Since then we have supported numerous customers with their data record and playback applications. The following case studies highlights the success of a few customers. 

 

 

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7. Conclusion

National Instruments is the leading provider of high-speed data record and playback products for automated test and measurement applications. By taking advantage of the high data-throughput and modular capabilities of the PXI platform, data storage products from National Instruments offers the ideal combination of performance and flexibility that can address the needs of a variety of applications. 

 

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8. Other NI PXI Design Advantages

For more information about National Instruments PXI platform design advantages, please view the other sections of this series:

NI PXI Platform Design Advantages

 

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