Conclusion, Pricing, RSTe, and Final Thoughts
- Very high data capacity and capability in a very small HHHL PCIe package.
- Near 100% performance scaling over the single controller model of the same.
- Higher capacities of the SSD DC P3608 have lower OP and reduced rated IOPS performance, which may confuse some customers expecting the same performance across this product line.
- 1.6TB – $3509 ($2.19/GB)
- 3.2TB – $7009 ($2.19/GB)
- 4.0TB – $8759 ($2.19/GB)
Just over $2/GB is a deal for those needing such high density enterprise storage.
Along with the release of the SSD DC P3608 came with it a release of a new version of Intel's RSTe software suite, which enables the combining of both halves of the P3608 into a single logical device. Similar to how the Z170 launch saw the introduction of PCIe RAID, RSTe adds similar functionality for Intel's enterprise SSDs. The catch is that there is no BIOS support for booting these merged devices on server platforms at present, so the OS will need to stay on its own dedicated drive for now.
We are currently combing through an extremely large amount of data obtained by putting the P3608 through various RAID combinations (along with a pair of P3700's), and will be publishing a dedicated piece focused on the performance and CPU overhead that come with teaming up multiple P3xxx series devices as a single massive (and very fast) logical volume.
Intel’s new P3608 is a successful combination of a pair of high end datacenter SSDs into a single HHHL package. The new unit accomplishes this feat by the use of a PLX chip and some clever PCB design and flash packaging, allowing datacenter builders the ability to fit twice the SSD DC P3600 performance and capacity into the same amount of space. With capacities ranging from 1.6TB to 4TB, this really pushes the data density of these parts to a new level. In fact, the capacity density and performance of the P3608 may be approaching the point where there is not enough IOPS capability to effectively saturate a chassis full of these units. A rollout of these new parts is going to require careful consideration of the other potential bottlenecks that can be created with so much raw performance available, but shifting the bottlenecks off of the storage subsystem is never a bad thing!
Intel gets gold here for their innovation on the P3600 line of products and across their SSD DC P3xxx series as a whole.