Samsung unveils massive 30TB SSD for the enterprise

Samsung has started production of the newest revision of their enterprise-focused PM1643 SSDs, doubling the maximum capacity from last year's model.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Samsung has refreshed their SAS-connected enterprise SSDs, adding a 30.72 TB drive this year.
  • Pricing information was not disclosed, though last year's 15.36 TB drive retailed for about $10k USD.

Samsung has announced the start of production for their new PM1643 line of enterprise SSDs. The PM1643 series of drives use 64-layer V-NAND technology, with 512 GB triple-level cell (TLC) type chips used, according to a Samsung press release.

The new SSDs have a max capacity of 30.72 TB, which is double the capacity of the PM1633a from last year. Samsung also touts an increase in I/O speed, with 2100/MBs read and 1700 MB/s sequential write speeds, and 400k / 50k IOPS for random read and write.

Initial shipments will only be of the high-end, 30.72 TB drives, but 15.36TB, 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 800GB versions are planned for release later this year. The drives are also rated for a full drive write per day for five years—56 petabytes-of endurance, the release said.

SEE: Quick glossary: Storage (Tech Pro Research)

The drives use Through Silicon Via (TSV) to connect the DDR4 cache, which Samsung claims is the first instance of TSV DRAM to be used in an SSD. The 30.72 TB version has a total of 40GB of DRAM, but it is unclear if lower capacity versions of the drive similarly have smaller quantities.

Pricing information has not been disclosed, though given that the previous generation PM1633a was roughly $10,000 USD for 15TB when it hit retail, expectations should be adjusted accordingly. Of note, while these drives are 2.5", they are 15mm tall and connect with SAS, making them suitable only for enterprise or data center use cases. Desktop users could conceivably fit them in a case and connect them using a PCIe-linked SAS controller card, but cramming these drives in a laptop is effectively impossible.

For people who need mass amounts of solid-state storage on the go, Samsung did announce the 860 EVO and 860 PRO series of SSDs last month. The 860 PRO is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities in a 2.5" 7mm form factor, with the high-end 4TB version retailing for $1899. These are standard SATA-connected drives, which do not benefit from the performance enhancements found in PCIe-linked M.2 drives. The 860 series marks Samsung's first 4TB SATA drive-a 4TB 850 PRO was announced, but did not ship following issues with chip yields.

The 860 EVO series is also available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, with the largest retailing for $1399. The EVO series combines TLC with an SLC cache. Because of this design, write speeds decrease from a maximum 520 MB/s to 300 MB/s when the cache is filled. The 860 EVO is also available in a 2.5" 7mm form factor, with mSATA and SATA-linked M.2 2280 options available for the 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB versions.

The mSATA version is particularly notable, as PC OEMs had abandoned the standard in favor of the compact and faster M.2. For example, the last ThinkPads to feature an mSATA slot were the X230, T430, and T530 models, which debuted in 2012.

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Image: Samsung

About James Sanders

James Sanders is a Java programmer specializing in software as a service and thin client design, and virtualizing legacy programs for modern hardware.

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