There has been a lot of recent shuffling about in the world of enterprise storage. I’m writing up this post from a Micron product launch event in Austin, Texas. Today they are launching a round of enterprise SSD products. These lines cover the full storage gamut from M.2 to U.2 to HHHL. While prior Micron SSDs were bottlenecked by AHCI and PCIe 2.0, these new lines are using Marvell controllers and are capable of PCIe 3.0 x4 speeds (plus NVMe).

The workhorse of the lineup is the 9100, which will be available in HHHL and U.2 2.5” 15mm form factors.

Lighter workloads are handled by the 7100 series, which is available in U.2 2.5” 7mm and M.2 22110. The slower serial bus remains covered by their S600DC SAS SSDs.

Micron is not the only company pushing further into this space. Less than two weeks ago, Intel ran their ‘Cloud Day’ event, where they launched a new Xeon CPU and a plethora of new SSDs, some of which were based on IMFT 3D NAND tech (SSD DC P3320). Intel also launched the client 540s and business 5400s product lines, which are based on Silicon Motion SM2256 controllers driving SK Hynix hybrid (SLC+TLC) flash. While these controllers and flash are coming from external sources, they must still pass Intel’s rigorous qualification and compatibility validation testing, so failure rates should be kept to a minimum.

Another aspect of this Micron launch day is their push into the production of not only SSDs, but all-flash storage devices. Dubbed ‘Micron Accelerated Solutions’, these are devices built, serviced, and supported by Micron. They naturally contain Micron SSDs, but also draw on other vendors like Supermicro and Nexenta. The products range from VMware SANs, to Ceph solutions capable of 1 million IOPS and 140 Gbps, to software-defined storage. I’ll be sitting through briefings and asking questions about these products when this post is set to go live, and I will update this space with any additional juicy tidbits once we wrap up for the day.


Apparently we are going to see consumer IMFT 3D TLC NAND *this month* in the form of a Crucial MX300!

…and in a couple of months we will see Crucial M.2 PCIe SSDs:

There was also some discussion on XPoint (spoken 'cross point') and where Micron sees this new storage being implemented. Expected to see scaled production in 2017 and 2018, XPoint is non-volatile (like flash) but extremely fast (like DRAM). There was not much said beyond generalities, but they did have a wafer, and you know I love die shots:

I was not permitted to get a better die shot of the wafer at this event, as the Micron rep specifically requested that journalists only use photos that were shot from stage distance. Fortunately, this was not the only event where I have photographed a XPoint wafer. Here is a photo I caught at a prior event:

**End update**

Here is a quick breakdown of the products launched by both Intel and Micron over the last two weeks:


  • SSD DC P3520 and P3320
    • First SSDs to use 256Gbit/die 32-layer IMFT 3D NAND.
    • PCIe 3.0 x4 HHHL and 2.5” U.2
    • 450GB-2TB
  • SSD DC D3700 and D3600
    • PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5” U.2 dual-port design.
      • Dual-port means two hosts can access a single SSD through the use of a special backplane that merges the PCIe lanes from two separate systems into a single U.2 connector. This is a move for increased redundancy, as one system can fail and the same flash storage will still be available to the failover system.
    • 800GB-1.6TB
  • SSD DC S3100
    • SATA 2.5” SLC+TLC hybrid for enterprise
      • Intended for boot OS / caching / index storage duties
    • 120GB-1TB
  • SSD 540s and Pro 5400s
    • Silicon Motion SM2256 + SK Hynix SLC+TLC hybrid flash
    • Pro 5200s adds Intel vPro / OPAL 2.0 and Microsoft eDrive support
    • 120GB-1TB
  • SSD E 5400s and E 5410s
    • Silicon Motion SM2256 + SK Hynix flash
    • Small capacity M.2 2280 and 2.5” SATA
    • 48GB-180GB


That’s a whole lot of flash related product launches in a very short period of time. I’m excited to see large pushes into the enterprise because that means we will see this tech trickle down to consumers and power users that much sooner!

The Micron NVMe press release was a bit light on details, so I’ve included their Accelerated Solutions release after the break.

Micron Simplifies Path to Next-Generation All-Flash Data Center with Introduction of Micron Accelerated Solutions

Micron Joins Forces with VMware, Supermicro, and Nexenta for New Solutions; Introduces Micron Storage Solutions Center

News Highlights

  • Introducing Micron Accelerated Solutions: a set of solutions built for open source and software-defined data centers that tightly integrate compute and storage with new levels of performance and value for customers
  • VMware, Supermicro, and Nexenta join Micron in collaborative engineering and total solutions engagements to deliver all-flash storage solutions for customers to partner with innovation leaders on all-flash storage solutions

Austin, TX, April 12, 2016 Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) today introduced Micron Accelerated Solutions, a set of purpose-built, scale-out solutions for open source and software-defined data centers. The first suite of Micron Accelerated Solutions are designed and developed in close collaboration with enterprising software and hardware companies including VMware, Supermicro and Nexenta.

Micron Accelerated Solutions were announced in conjunction with the opening of the Austin-based Micron Storage Solutions Center (MSSC). A hub for Micron storage innovation, the MSSC is also the engineering home for Micron Accelerated Solutions. Inside the MSSC lab, Micron works closely with customers to run their applications, optimize their workloads, and find ways to enhance their experience with Micron SSDs in their real-world environments. The MSSC is also where Micron leads its research in storage software and where Micron engineers are uncovering a path to better architect storage software and operating systems to take full advantage of today’s flash technology. The company expects to regularly reveal news of future software innovations coming from the MSSC.

In a separate announcement, Micron also announced today a new portfolio of PCIe NVMe solid state drives (SSDs) that leverage the high-performance NVMe protocol.

“Data center infrastructure needs new solutions,” said Mark Durcan chief executive officer of Micron Technology. “Solutions that are designed from the ground up using semiconductor technology—specifically flash storage today, as well as our exciting new storage class memory. We are proud to bring to our customers, and to Austin, a state-of-the-art center, products and solutions that provide IT departments with a way forward to build out an agile IT infrastructure.”

Introducing Micron Accelerated Solutions

Most of today's data center hardware is based on frame-based arrays filled with bays of spinning media separated from compute. This traditional architecture is not capable of processing, analyzing and storing business critical data, especially at the volume, velocity and variety for which it is being created. For companies to truly realize the promise and potential of their data, they need an IT infrastructure that can handle the demands and challenges posed by large and continuous and complex data sets bring. For more information on the Micron Accelerated Solutions, visit

Micron Accelerated Solution for VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes

Micron, Supermicro and VMware have partnered to design all-flash Ready Nodes that pack the benefits of a fully integrated hyper-converged compute and storage solution. The Micron Virtual SAN AF-4, AF-6, and AF-8 Ready Nodes enable VMware vSphere® administrators to future-proof their data center architecture using all-flash, delivering compelling all-flash performance. When compared to hybrid VMware Virtual SAN™ implementations that include traditional HDD, the Micron Accelerated Solution for VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes offer up to 40x the IOPs and bandwidth, as well as low as 1/40th the latency.

The Micron Accelerated Solution for VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes take full advantage of the advanced data efficiency features like deduplication, compression and erasure coding that are now available for the first time in VMware Virtual SAN 6.2—key features that are only available in the all-flash configuration of the software-defined storage platform. As a result, the VMware Virtual SAN All-Flash Ready Nodes can be purchased for as low as $0.44/GB (effective capacity) which includes the full MSRP of all server hardware, software and a three-year support.

Micron Accelerated Ceph Storage Solution

Leveraging an open source object storage solution that runs on Linux software that hits 1M IOPS and reaches 140Gbps throughput, Micron has designed a robust, high-performance all-flash Ceph storage solution that allows customers to stand up a dynamic cloud infrastructure. Based on Supermicro servers, the Micron Accelerated Ceph Storage Solution provides a solid foundation for large private clouds, helping businesses deal with the explosive data demands that are fueled by big data applications and by pervasive mobile devices.

Micron Accelerated NexentaEdge Solution

Micron is collaborating with Nexenta to bring to market high performance, simply scalable, full featured all-flash block and object storage based on NexentaEdge scale-out Software-Defined Storage. The Micron Accelerated NexentaEdge Solution will provide high performance native block, iSCSI block, Swift and S3 object services to OpenStack, VMware and Container based infrastructure.

NexentaEdge provides unlimited instant snapshots and clones, as well as patented cluster-wide inline deduplication and compression that can increase the effective capacity of storage for virtual machines by a factor of 5:1 or more. NexentaEdge software also implements real-time self-balancing, continuously distributing load across all devices in the cluster to maximize flash endurance, and simple management through CLI, REST API and an intuitive graphical user-interface. This collaboration is expected to result in a joint reference architecture and purchasable solution from Supermicro in the second half of 2016. For more information, read the Nexenta press release.

Where to Buy

Putting choice in the hands of customers, there are several approaches to deploying a Micron Accelerated Solution. For more information on where and how to buy, visit:


Micron Accelerated Solutions have received the SOLID Ready seal, providing customers with confidence in deploying a solution that has been architected, optimized and tuned from the storage core to the application level. The SOLID Ready seal simplifies and accelerates the transition to an agile infrastructure by providing tested and proven reference architectures for next-generation enterprise and hyperscale applications including software defined storage platforms, virtualized workload infrastructures, OpenStack solutions and big data environments. The SOLID Ready seal is bestowed upon industry leading solutions that have been evaluated and developed by engineering teams from Micron and our partners to deliver SOLID performance. For more information the core tenets of the SOLID Ready seal, visit:

Supporting Quotes

Skip Bacon, VMware Vice President of Products, Storage & Availability

“VMware's hyper-converged software, consisting of VMware vSphere®, VMware Virtual SAN and VMware vCenter Server®, has the ability to provision and manage compute, network and storage resources from a single pane of management. We are excited to join Micron and Supermicro to deliver all-flash, hyper-converged solutions enabled by VMware Virtual SAN to customers that deliver high performance, enterprise-class storage for virtual environments that are simple, resilient and efficient, while reducing total cost of ownership.”

Eric Sindelar, Supermicro Senior Director of Operations

“Supermicro’s SOLID Ready 2U Ultra platforms deliver on performance, density and efficiency and our Simply Double 2U 48x hot-swap NVMe architecture will take this to the extreme for next generation software-defined data center environments. In working with Micron, Nexenta and VMware on these SOLID Ready total solutions through the MSSC, we will alter the storage landscape with new, innovative open-standards based scale-out storage to further accelerate and simplify scalability of deployments.”

Tarkan Maner, Nexenta Chairman and CEO

“NexentaEdge is designed from the ground-up to deliver high performance block and object storage services and limitless scalability to OpenStack and VMware clouds, petabyte scale active archives and Big Data applications. With patented inline deduplication and compression in the Micron Accelerated NextentaEdge Solution, we are providing customers with cost-optimized, high-performance, simplified management of petabyte-scale all-flash repositories for any cloud.”


Micron Technology, Inc.

Micron Technology, Inc., is a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies—including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash—is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron’s memory solutions enable the world’s most innovative computing, consumer, enterprise storage, networking, mobile, embedded and automotive applications. Micron's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit