Intel has officially entered the Enterprise PCIe SSD market with the release of their 910 Series SSD. Available in 400 and 800GB capacities, this half-height PCIe 2.0 8x card boasts over 180,000 4k IOPS and 2GB/sec sequential on reads. Writes are roughly half of that – limited by the 25W PCIe spec power available to the card, but since many server motherboards have no issue providing a bit more power (28W), those numbers can be boosted to ~120,000 4k IOPS and 1.5GB/sec via end-user reconfiguration possible through the Intel management software.
The 910 is not all-Intel in its construction. While the flash is High Endurance Technology IMFT, it is driven by an Intel-tweaked Hitachi SAS controller, which is in turn controlled by an LSI 2008 Falcon SAS HBA. This means the storage is presented to the system as either two or four SCSI LUNs. This choice makes sense as you can attain higher IOPS when you let a high end server decide how to spread that data around. It also allows for more flexibility as each 200GB segment of storage appears as its own unit, meaning databases can be distributed amongst them. Unfortunately, this configuration choice means the 910 will not be bootable, at least not with all LUNs paired together.
Intel is taking endurance seriously with this product. They claim 30x over standard MLC expected lifetime with their High Endurance Technology, and they mean it – The 910 is rated and guaranteed to sustain writing 10x its capacity for each and every day of the 5-year warranty period! That comes to 3EB (yes, EB, or 3,000 TB) for the 800GB model!
Prices start at $1,929 for 400GB and $3,859 for 800GB. Intel is sampling to us shortly, and we will get the full performance review up as soon as humanly possible upon its arrival.
Full press release after the break.
Intel® Solid-State Drive 910 Series Delivers High Performance, Endurance and Reliability for Data Center Tiering and CachingNew Intel 900 SSD Family Expands SSD Product Linewith PCIe Interface SSD for Accelerated Data Center StorageNEWS HIGHLIGHTS· PCIe-based 400GB and 800GB Intel SSD 910 Series provides extreme performance, endurance and reliability for rigorous data center demands.· Intel SSD 910 Series offers easy-to-install, seamless post-deployment server storage upgrade with no changes to existing server design.· Using Intel High Endurance Technology, Intel SSD 910 offers 10 full drive writes a day for 5 years for 30x endurance.*SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 12, 2012 – Intel Corporation introduced today the Intel® Solid-State Drive 910 Series (Intel® SSD 910 Series), a super high-performing SSD to address rigorous data center storage demands driven by cloud computing, virtualization and online transactions.The Intel SSD 910 Series delivers accelerated storage performance, endurance and reliability critical to today’s data center performance applications. It includes Intel High Endurance Technology and optimized multi-level cell (MLC) 25-nanometer NAND flash memory, that allows up to 10 full drive writes a day for 5 years, or a 30x endurance improvement* over its standard MLC-based flash products, for a cost-effective storage solution.The Intel SSD 910 is PCIe-based and offers an easy-to-install, seamless post-deployment server storage upgrade that requires no changes to existing server design. It can be used in storage tiering and caching of hot files for high-performance processing and access to mission-critical data. One Intel 910 SSD can replace multiple 15K rpm hard disk drives (HDDs) to not only save on space and power consumption, but also improve sequential performance and storage scalability and reduce latencies. It is built using an Intel controller and Intel SSD management firmware. The firmware is optimized for less wear and includes NAND error reduction and system error management.“The Intel SSD 910 Series is a complete solution that delivers on all fronts: high performance, endurance and reliability, making it ideal for replacing I/O-intensive HDDs,” said Roger Peene, director of data center SSD marketing for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “As a leader in SSD technology, data center IT professionals can have confidence in a tier-one, easy-to-install SSD solution backed by Intel quality, reliability and technical support.”“Supermicro works closely with leading technology companies so we can offer our customers Data Center Optimized (DCO) server solutions with the highest performance and highest efficiency,” said Tau Leng, general manager of High Performance Computing at Super Micro Computer Inc. “With the Intel SSD 910, server systems can achieve higher levels of CPU utilization to take advantage of increased processing power from advanced products like the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 Series. This is yet another example of working with Intel to test and qualify products, so we can lower our customers’ total cost of ownership and reduce their time-to-market.”The Intel SSD 910 Series expands Intel’s offerings for data center applications with its first entry in the 900 family of its highest-performing, PCIe-based SSDs. The Intel SSD 900 Family joins Intel’s other high-volume SSD solutions for the data center including the Intel 700 SSD Family of SATA-based SSDs with High Endurance Technology and the Intel SSD 300 Family of SATA SSDs for a broad range of server and storage applications.Performance measures of the Intel SSD 910 Series 800GB drive include 2 gigabytes-per-second (GB/s) sustained sequential reads and 1GB/s sequential writes; up to up to 180,000 4K random read Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 75,000 4K random write IOPS. It comes in 400GB and 800GB capacities. Samples are now available for data center customers to begin quality and validation cycles. General production availability is scheduled for mid-2012.Pricing for the Intel SSD 910 Series is $1,929 for the 400GB capacity and $3,859 for 800GB. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty. See full warranty details at: www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029645.htm.