Electronic Design
Enterprise MLC SSD Has 14.6 Pbyte Write Lifetime

Enterprise MLC SSD Has 14.6 Pbyte Write Lifetime

Seagate will be delivering its Pulsar.2 (Fig. 1) enterprise SSD that had been announced earlier this year (see Family Of Drives Span Enterprise Storage Needs) in the near future. Unlike its SLC Pulsar XT.2, the Pulsar.2 is an MLC drive based on 34nm technology providing more capacity at a lower price point.

MLC drives essentially double the capacity of SLC drives at the expense of a shorter write lifetime. Still, proper memory management can allow MLC drives to deliver the kind of performance necessary for enterprise operation. Most drives are part of large RAID arrays so overall write life tends to be the deciding factor about a drive. Essentially, enterprise SSDs need at least a 5 year lifetime. Some applications may require more writes in which case the Pulsar XT.2 is a better choice.

The Pulsar.2 drives can handle a complete rewrite up to 10 times per day with a drive lifetime of 14.6 Pbytes. That is three times higher than regular MLC drives. It is designed for enterprise environments where random access is more common and its faster access time is a benefit. Random read/write performance is 48K/15K IOPS with a sequential read/write bandwidth of 370/400 Mbytes/s.

Pulsar.2 is available in capacities from 100 Gbytes to 400 Gbytes running 6 Gbit/s SATA and up to 800 Gbytes for drives with the 6 Gbit/s SAS interface. The 800 Gbyte drives have SED (self encrypting drive) support and the SAS line supports Protection Information (PI) SAS adapters. PI provides end-to-end authentication by tacking on additional information to each sector.

The 800 Gybte 2.5-in drives are 15mm high while all the others are only 7mm high. All have a 5 year warranty.

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