Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
(speaking to the new DC S3500 and DC S3700 SSDs)
- High performance
- High endurance considering performance (given 20nm flash in the S3500)
- Relatively low sequential write speeds on S3500
- Availability (especially at Intel's stated pricing)
Pricing and Availability:
Pricing is always a mixed bag when it comes to enterprise SSDs, so I'll stick with a few slides direct from Intel's briefings. Here are a couple from the DC S3500 and S3700 briefings:
While we don't have a detailed breakdown of the cost/GB for each capacity, we did get a figure of $979 for the 800GB variant of the S3500. That comes in at just $1.22/GB, which is bordering on consumer SSD pricing.
- X25-E: 3-years
- SSD 320: 5-years
- SSD 710: 3-years
- SSD 910: 5-years
- SSD DC S3500: 5-years
- SSD DC S3700: 5-years
An oddity is that the 320 and 710 are sort of backwards on their warranties, as they are essentially the same drive, and Intel could only warranty that common unit for 3 years when used in an enterprise capacity. The S3500 and S3700 are essentially the same drive, but the S3500 uses 20nm flash. Despite that flash having shorter longevity than the 25nm flash used in the S3700, the S3500 carries a 5-year warranty, making it one of very few 20nm SSDs to carry such a long warranty – very impressive considering its primary use being for the Data Center.
Intel has been very solid on firmware updates and is always prompt to correct any rare issues that may arise.
Despite some bumps in their road to achieve 6Gb/sec speeds from their own SSD controllers, Intel's SSD team has finally come through with a solid offering. The SSD DC S3500 and S3700 Series aim to push Solid State even further into enterprise infrastructures world wide. This is especially the case with the S3500, which shares many performance traits with its faster brother, yet does so at a very competitive cost/GB. If Intel's claimed prices can hold up to market demand, data center managers will have a harder time pushing off that upgrade. Actually, with the costs at close to $1/GB, I wouldn't be surprised to see some power users opting for their consistency and speed.
For enterprise use, I'm awarding my Editor's Choice to the Intel SSD DC S3500 SSD. It offers enterprise performance and consistency at the most competitive price and performance I've seen out of *any* enterprise rated storage device. I realize some folks out there are going to knock the endurance ratings of the S3500, which works out to roughly 600 cycles. Given the capacities installed and usage seen in typical enterprise configurations, the S3500 is going to cover most of the bases. For the few configurations that are super-heavy on writes, there's always the S3700.