Late last week SanDisk launched its Optimus MAX Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid state drive (SSD) with a capacity of 4TB. This was heralded as an industry first and as the "first true replacement for Data Centre HDDs delivering SAS features and performance," on offer at a "breakthrough price point".
Right now it's quite common for computer users to employ a combination of SSD and HDD drives as the cost per GB of HDDs is so much better and we all need quite a bit of backup storage for ever larger games and high resolution media files. However with the kind of storage capacity growth and cost per GB decline forecast by SanDisk we could be seeing the majority of users going 100 per cent solid state in a few years. For now this 4TB Optimus MAX drive represents an enterprise solution.
In its targeted market SanDisk believes that this new SSD will make a big splash, "The Optimus MAX eliminates the need for compromises. We believe that the Optimus MAX will be a disruptive force within the storage industry, catalyzing many organizations to make the switch from their HDD-prominent data centre infrastructures to SSDs.," asserted John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk.
SanDisk Optimus MAX 2.5-inch SAS SSD (Preliminary specifications subject to change)
- Interface: SAS 6Gb/s
- Interface Ports: Dual/Wide
- Sequential Read/Write (MB/s):Up to 400/400 MB/s
- Random Read/Write (IOPS): Up to 75K/15K IOPS
- Capacity: 4TB, 19nm eMLC User
- Sector Sizes: 512, 520, 528 byte
- Data Reliability (BER): 1 unrecoverable error in 1017 bits read
- MTBF: 2.5M hours
- Data Fail Recovery: F.R.A.M.E. (Flexible Redundant Array of Memory Elements)
- Power Fail Recovery: EverGuard™ Technology: Backup Power Circuitry
- Data Path Protection: DataGuard™ Technology
- Warranty: Lesser of 5 years or maximum endurance used
- Endurance (Random Workload): 1 – 3 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day)
- Power: Vcc, 5V, - 5%/+10%, Active (Typ): 7W
- Shock: 1000 g half-sine, 0.5 msec. 3 shocks along each axis, X , Y, Z, in each direction
- Vibration: 2.17 g rms, 7-800 Hz
- Operating Temperature: 0C to 70⁰ C (internal)
- Storage Temperature: -40⁰ C to 90⁰ C
- Humidity: 5% to 95% non-condensing, relative humidity
- Altitude: 5486.4 m [18,000 ft.]
- Size: Length 100.20 mm, Width 69.85 mm, Height 9.50 mm/15.00 mm
The new crop of 2.5-inch 4TB Optimus MAX drives that have launched allow enterprises to replace under-performing HDDs while leveraging their current SAS storage infrastructures, suggests SanDisk. Users can cut TCO thanks to the new drives using less power, generating less waste heat and offering better density.
ComputerWorld received a follow up email from SanDisk which spelled out the firm's plans for the next couple of years. A SanDisk marketing executive told the magazine that "We see reaching the 4TB mark as really just the beginning and expect to continue doubling the capacity every year or two, far outpacing the growth for traditional HDDs". Remember this is for a 2.5-inch form factor drive.
Unfortunately, even though the launch press release talked about affordability, we don't yet have a price for one of these drives. Since purchase affordability is a relative concept we shouldn't expect this to be the most disruptive aspect of the drive for its users. The cost of this SAS SSD is actually said to be "similar to SATA SSDs". It will be interesting to see how the other major SSD makers will respond to this announcement by SanDisk.