Main image of article Micron's New Data-Center SSD Touts Longevity
Micron Technology has announced a new Solid State Drive (SSD) for the data center, touting its longevity as a primary selling point. Available in 100-, 200- and 400-GB capacities and a standard 2.5-inch 7-millimeter (mm) form factor, the new Micron P400m drive has been designed to handle massive amounts of data. Micron built the drive using 25-nm multi-layer-cell flash, increasing the storage density but also introducing the possibility of more errors. Micron is emphasizing the hardware’s durability. "The growth in big data is placing tremendous pressure on IT administrators,” Ed Doller, vice president and general manager of Micron's Enterprise SSD division, wrote in a statement. ”Users require fast, on-demand access to data. This means data centers must deliver more data, faster than ever before—in an environment that has zero tolerance for data loss.” Micron’s claim to fame is that, as a flash manufacturer, it understands its components better than anyone, including third-party SSD makers that incorporate flash memory from a variety of suppliers. Micron’s Extended Performance and Enhanced Reliability Technology (XPERT) closely integrates the storage media and controller through highly-optimized firmware algorithms and hardware enhancements. Doller told analysts last August that Micron sees the gradual creep of SSDs into servers as a sort of Trojan horse: while they provide a lightning-fast cache for frequently used data, they also potentially displace some storage functions, especially as capacity scales up. Newer high-performance, high-capacity drives that use the PCI Express interface will provide an alternative to traditional NAS or SAN arrays, he added, slowing the trend of moving direct-attached storage outside the server. According to the P400m’s data sheet (PDF), the drive’s mean time to failure (MTTF) is estimated at 2 million device hours—an estimate, of course, as that equates to over 220 years of continuous operation. The drive’s endurance rating is up to 7 petabytes written over the life of the drive, or the equivalent of every picture posted to Facebook, daily, for 311 days straight. The drive’s performance is rated at up to 55,000 IOPS while reading random data at 350 MBytes/s; or 17,000 IOPS write, at 300 MB/s. Power consumption is rated at 0.75 watts idle and less than 5 watts while actively reading and writing. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Micron introduced the M500 SSD, which uses 20nm multilayer cell NAND chips and a SATA 6Gb/s controller combined with Micron’s custom firmware to deliver up to 80,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). The drive’s sequential read and write speeds reach up to 500 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively. The 960-Gbyte enterprise SSD will cost less than $600 retail, Micron said at the time. Micron said that the P400m has entered production, tested by several OEMs, and is now shipping; however, it failed to disclose pricing. A company spokeswoman could not be reached for further comment by press time.   Image: Micron