Storage

How new storage form factors are bringing higher densities for HPC

New advances in storage technology for new systems, and transitional tech for existing servers, are changing the game for enterprise storage.

Samsung has unveiled a new SSD for enterprise use, in the Next-Generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF), otherwise known as NF1. The SSD uses 16 512GB NAND packages, allowing for capacities of up to 8TB per drive, and 576TB of total storage in 2U rack servers. The geometry involved in making these capacities work in these spaces relies on the new NF1 standard, which Samsung noted in a press release is "expected to be standardized by JEDEC in October."

The Samsung-proposed standard combines the mechanics of the M.2 standard found primarily on notebooks and workstations, though expands the width from 22mm to 30.5mm in order to accommodate more NAND packages on a single drive. NF1 also includes support for hot-swap capabilities on rackmount servers. As the U.2 drive standard—which combines PCI-e signaling with the dimensions of traditional 2.5" hard disk drives—is falling out of favor as 10K and 15K 2.5" drives are becoming more scarce in server deployments, the NF1 standard is likely to overtake the U.2 standard for SSDs.

From a technical standpoint, the drives themselves feature a new controller that supports NVMe 1.3 and PCI Express 4.0. It is capable of read and write speeds of 3100 MB/s and 2000 MB/s respectively, with random read and write IOPS of 500,000 and 50,000 respectively which, according to the release, allows systems to "perform over one million IOPS in a 2U rack space." The drives are backed with 12GB LPDDR4 RAM, and are rated for 1.3 drive writes per day (DWPD), and a 3-year warranty. Samsung indicates that a 16TB version of the drive is planned for later this year.

SEE: Quick glossary: Storage (Tech Pro Research)

In other storage news this week, Toshiba has announced their RM5 series of SAS 12Gbit/s SSDs. Intended as a drop-in replacement for existing SATA drives while eschewing the need for SAS expanders for SATA drives on servers, Toshiba is positioning these drives as a value replacement, according to a press release. The RM5 drives are available in a 2.5" 15mm form factor, with 960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB, and 7.68TB capacities, with read and write speeds up to 838MB/s and 650MB/s respectively, offering random IOPS at 150,000 and 35,000, respectively. The drives are rated at 1 DWPD, and have a 5-year warranty.

For traditional hard drives, Western Digital announced a new 12TB version of their "Purple" line of disks for video surveillance recording. Compared to the existing 10TB version, the new drive has eight platters instead of seven, and the per-platter capacity has increased to 1.5TB. It runs at 7200 RPM, and has a 256MB cache. WD's Purple drives include modified firmware that is intended to make recording more reliable, which they now tout as "AllFrame AI."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Seagate's new NF1 SSDs allow for capacities of up to 8TB per drive, and 576TB of total storage in 2U rack servers.
  • Toshiba has announced their RM5 series of SAS 12Gbit/s SSDs, available in 960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB, and 7.68TB capacities.

Also see

samsungssd.jpg
Image: Samsung

About James Sanders

James Sanders is a Writer for TechRepublic. Since 2013, he has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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