Burn Through Fewer SSDs in the Data Center by Switching to Intel Optane DC SSDs

SSD endurance depends on how a drive is made and used. If you run critical, write-heavy workloads, here's an option that will far outlast NAND SSDs.

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When it comes to endurance, hard drives are like car tires. How often you replace your tires depends on their quality and how many miles you drive each day. With light use, even low-quality tires might last for years. But if you commute long distances to work every day, your tires might run out of usable tread in a year.

SSDs are similar because they can accept only a limited number of data writes before they “run out of usable tread” and are unable to support additional writes. And, like different models of tires, some drive technologies can handle more “wear” than others.

With hard drives, including solid state drives (SSDs), endurance describes the number of times the entire capacity of the drive can be overwritten before it becomes unreliable. Why only writes and not reads? Because reading from media is non-destructive, and therefore is not as much of a concern when calculating the longevity of a drive.

Today, most data centers are filled with NAND SSDs for cold and warm data storage. With NAND SSDs, endurance is primarily determined by the limits of the non-volatile memory cells that comprise the storage media. Drive vendors and independent reviewers typically use either total lifetime writes or average drive writes per day (DWPD) to compare endurance levels between SSDs.

Intel Optane Media is Fundamentally Different

Intel Optane technology avoids many of the pitfalls of NAND because it is built with a unique memory media that features new materials offering substantially higher performance and endurance. In fact, this endurance advantage is so great that, unlike NAND media, Intel Optane media can even be used as memory. In addition, Intel Optane media has no erase-before-write requirement, just read and write. This greatly simplifies system design and eliminates much of the write overhead, including garbage collection, that is inherent in NAND media.

post 3 image 2Figure 1: Intel® Optane™ DC SSDs are available in a variety of form factors that can connect to systems on the storage bus or the memory channel

The Intel Optane media endurance benefits aren’t limited to SSDs. The same underlying architecture is used in Intel Optane DC persistent memory, where greater endurance enables the system to write to the memory module over its lifetime without worry of premature wear-out.

Get the Full Story

Increased endurance is just one of the benefits offered by this revolutionary technology. Intel Optane media can be deployed as memory or storage to complement existing DRAM memory and NAND storage in the data center. That flexibility offers admins new data tiers and options for lowering storage costs, increasing storage performance, and boosting caching efficiency.

To get the full story, check out Intel’s technical marketing brief by Frank T. Hady, Ph.D., Intel Fellow, “Intel Optane Technology Delivers New Levels of Endurance” and visit the Intel Optane technology website.


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