Today we are going to look at the SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB 3.0 drive. The SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43 16GB is a low profile USB drive. These drives are shorter in length primarily to be used in laptops and tablets. As we saw with the previous generation CZ33 SanDisk Cruzer Fit that also makes these drives great 1U server accessories. Today we are going to look at the USB 3.0 version to see if we get better speeds.
SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB CZ43
The Ultra Fit CZ43 16GB drive currently sells for about $10 on Amazon. The majority of the chassis is metal with a plastic grip to aid in the insertion and removal of the USB 3.0 drive. The CZ33 USB 2.o drive sells for about $1 less at $9. The $1 premium does have an advantage when it comes to speed as we will see soon.
Last time we used a vertical internal USB Type-A header, but this time we will demonstrate with an internal header. The Dell PowerEdge R220 we have has a specific horizontal Type-A header used for hypervisor USB drive installation.
Inserting the USB drive one can see it easily clears nearby components. We did test on other 1U systems and the drives fit easily in vertical configurations.
Dell and other manufacturers are using these internal USB headers as hypervisor installations, such as with VMware ESXi 6.0 have become extremely popular using inexpensive USB drives. VMware and others recommend using at least 16GB drives.
Using low profile USB drives inside 1U server chassis has a few benefits. First, it frees up a SATA port for use for vSAN or other VM storage. Second, keeping a drive inside the chassis prevents accidental removal.
This is a USB 3.0 flash drive so we would expect to see transfer speeds in excess of the 7MB/s or so we saw on the Cruzer Fit. We installed the SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ43 16GB drive into a new Intel Xeon D-1540 test system and certainly saw nice transfer speeds in ATTO.
The 20MB/s write and 140MB/s read speeds are both considerably faster than we saw in USB 2.0 drives.
For $1 more ($10 on Amazon) the minor speed bump is nice to have. We use over a dozen of these drives in the lab for VMware ESXi drives. These drives can also be used for embedded appliance installations such as for FreeNAS, nas4free and others.