Thursday, August 11, 2011

Icy News: Hitachi GST Opts for MLC for New Enterprise 6Gb SAS SSDs

"Until recently, conventional wisdom stated that SLC-based SSDs were the only drives suitable for demanding Tier 0 enterprise applications. That has changed with the introduction of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' (Hitachi GST) newUltrastar SSD400M MLC SSD family. 

As a cost-effective alternative to SLC SSDs, Hitachi GST's enterprise MLC SSDs utilizes Intel's 25nm, highest endurance enterprise-grade, MLC NAND Flash and delivering performance. The result is an enterprise-class MLC SSD that meets the performance, capacity, endurance and reliability demands of today's enterprise and cloud data centers. Targeting enterprise capacity sweet spots, the Ultrastar SSD400M family is available in a 2.5-inch form factor with a 6Gb SAS interface in capacities of 200GB and 400GB.

Not all enterprise MLCs SSDs are created equal. Benefiting from 25nm enterprise-grade MLC NAND Flash combined with endurance-optimized controller technology, the Ultrastar SSD400M 400GB delivers write endurance with 7.3PB lifetime random writes, or 10 full drive writes per day for five years, which satisfies the endurance requirements of most enterprise applications. Hitachi's MLC SSDs also include all of the enterprise features found in the company's Ultrastar SLC SSD family, including end-to-end data protection, error correction and error handling, resulting in the high level of reliability that is critical in enterprise systems." - via Storage Newsletter

Given the change in what cell memory Hitachi is using, this is a surprising step. given the nature of MLC vs SLC wear long term. Since it is known that MLC are less costly, perhaps this is the reason for the change. Now, the important part will be how the controller will handle the read and write without the issues that were seen early with MLC SSDs. Let us know what you think about this!

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