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SanDisk reveals 4TB SSDs with SAS interface for data-centers

SanDisk Corp. on Wednesday announced a new solid-state drive designed for enterprises that could change the way storage systems are built today. The new Optimus Max SSD boasts 4TB capacity, high reliability as well as leading-edge performance, the qualities that are crucial for large data-centers.

Nowadays data-centers use multi-tier storage systems that include large-capacity hard disk drives to keep data that is not needed often, high-performance hard disk drives with 10K or 15K rpm spindle speed for mission-critical data that requires both storage space and performance as well as solid-state drives for data that is accessed frequently. As the amounts of data grow in general, larger SSDs are needed to store “hot” data and higher performance is required for solutions that store “mission critical” and sometimes even “cold” data.

The Optimus Max SSD offers an alternative – delivering cost-effective, high-density storage with SSD-class performance, allowing enterprises to replace HDDs while leveraging their current SAS storage infrastructures. The Optimus Max provides more storage space than any mission-critical 10K or 15K HDD, while at the same time offering dramatically higher performance as well. Since the new SSD provides better performance and higher-capacity than HDDs, the Optimus Max will help SanDisk customers to lower the amount of racks, power supplies, HBAs and other components of data-centers. Quite naturally, total cost of data-centers’ ownership will also drop.

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SanDisk Optimus Max solid-state drive is not a performance champion: it features sequential read/write performance of up to 400MB/s and can perform 75K or 15K random read and write input/output operations per second (IOPS). It joins other drives in the Optimus family that provide capacities between 100GB and 2TB. The whole Optimus family is based on 19nm MLC NAND flash memory.

All SanDisk Optimus drives, including the Optimus Max SSD, feature a set of SanDisk technoloties that work in concert to provide a combination of powerful error correction and detection technology, full data path protection, and data fail recovery from lower cost MLC flash.

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It is noteworthy that the Optimus Max SSDs are rated for only one – three drive writes per day, hence, it cannot be used for “hot” data that is overwritten multiple times per day. For “hot” data SanDisk’s customers will have to use high-end SSDs.

“Currently, SSDs are used to accentuate high-capacity HDDs in traditional enterprise, cloud and hyperscale data centers, however, increasing numbers of IT managers are finding that they need accelerated performance,” said Laura DuBois, Program Vice President for IDC’s Storage practice. “As SSDs, such as SanDisk’s new Optimus MAX, continue to increase in capacity while achieving greater cost-effectiveness, more enterprises will look to SSDs to replace their legacy HDD infrastructures in order to meet today’s high I/O applications and enterprise workload requirements.”

The Optimus Max SSD and renewed Optimus family of drives will be available with TCG Enterprise Security Subsystem Class compliance to select OEMs and through the channel in Q3 2014. Pricing will vary.

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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see whether owners of data-centers will actually adopt Optimus Max-like SSDs for mission-critical and “cold” data storage. While their benefits in terms of higher performance and lower power consumption are obvious, their pricing will likely be very high. Unfortunately, we will hardly know about that for several quarters since OEMs and data-centers certify and test-drive new hardware solutions before deploying.

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