Micron ships its first enterprise-class SSD

The P300 can handle 1.9TB of throughput a day for five years

Micron Technology Inc. today said it is shipping what it calls the fastest enterprise -class solid-state drive (SSD) on the market. The RealSSD P300 is aimed at servers, storage arrays and high-end workstations.

The SSD is available in 50GB, 100GB and 200GB capacities.

The P300 SSD had been scheduled to ship in June. A Micron spokesperson said the company extended its testing period beyond its original June launch data. The P300 is now being sampled by equipment manufacturers.

Unlike Micron's current C300 consumer-class SSD, which uses multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, the P300 SSD uses higher-end single-level cell (SLC) NAND, which increases throughput and longevity.

Micron said the combination of SLC NAND, special firmware and a serial ATA (SATA) 6Bit/sec interface -- a first for the enterprise SSD market -- its drive can achieve a market-leading read throughput speed of up to 360MB/sec. and a write throughput speed of up to 275MB/sec.

By comparison, the Micron C300 boasted sequential read/write speeds of 355MB/sec. and 215MB/sec., respectively.

Micron's RealSSD C300 is based on eight internal parallel channels to its interleaved flash chips.

"The RealSSD P300 SSD is the fastest SATA-based drive on the market," Dean Klein, vice president of memory system development at Micron, said in a statement. "The RealSSD P300 is able to do the work of multiple hard drives -- outperforming a RAID of 12 hard drives in some cases."

Robb Mankin, senior director of enterprise SSD products at Micron, said the P300 can reach a sustained input-output per second (IOPS) rate of 44,000 reads and 16,000 writes.

According to benchmark tests by Calypso Systems Inc. , the P300 is 15 times faster than some competing enterprise-class SSDs, such as Intel's X25-E and Samsung's SS805 .

Calypso's benchmarks show the P300 is two to 16 times faster in sequential read throughput than Intel 's and Samsung's SSDs. According to Calypso, Micron's drive generated 19,561 IOPS, compared to 1,182 and 7,556 for Intel and Samsung, respectively. The company also said that the P300 is more than three times faster in average response times than both of its competitors' SSDs.

"The important message here is that these are not burst or instantaneous numbers. This is what the drive will do in a steady state, under heavy workloads," Mankin said. "This is what people should be able to see in systems on a reliable, routine basis."

Because of the SLC NAND and write-leveling software, which spreads data out evenly so as to not wear out any one area of the drive, the P300 is rated to sustain over 3.5PB of data over a five-year period, or 1.9TB of write data every day for five years, Mankin said.

All SSDs today have write-leveling software, but vendors claim unique algorithms to perform write leveling task.

Mankin said Micron will price the P300 "competitively," but would not disclose that price. It won't be generally available until October.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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