PCI Express-based SSD solutions represent the bleeding edge of storage technology, with insanely fast transfer speeds (multiple GB/s) beyond what's typically available today. Despite the high cost and still-unproven reliability of PCIe NAND drives, Fusion-io, LSI, and OCZ are all developing and pushing these solutions at enterprise markets. The latest advance is coming from OCZ, who is partnering with Marvell to launch the Z-Drive R5 PCIe storage solution. What sets this update to its predecessor apart from other solutions is Marvell's 88NV9145 native PCIe to NAND controller platform, which provides improved interfacing with the host computer and allows for efficient scaling and performances increases as more drives are added — all without the need for a separate, dedicated storage controller.

OCZ is providing the software for the Z-Drive R5 and claims capacities of up to 12TB and compatibility with Mac OS X, Windows Server 2008, Linux, and VMware ESX and ESXi. OCZ and Marvell haven't released much more in the way of specific specifications, but the Z-Drive R5 will be on display at CES, so we expect to get more details to see how it stacks up to the competition then.