Enterprise SSD Reviews
by Josh Shaman

Micron M500 Enterprise SSD Review

The Micron M500 is part of the new SSD family created by Micron and Crucial geared toward personal storage applications with the Micron M500 slotted as an enterprise-class SSD that ranges in capacities up to a robust 960GB, uses 20nm MLC NAND, a Marvell controller, interfaces over SATA 6Gb/s, and features a slim 7mm drive height. The Micron-branded M500 is also targeted at Cloud and Web 2.0 segment. As we mention in our review of the near-identical consumer-oriented Crucial M500, the Micron brand is established and is known for its long-term reliability and its compatibility. Adding to that is the robust capacity and value offered by Micron. On that note, while Crucial's M500 offers top capacity in the consumer-market, there are existing enterprise SSDs that meet and exceed 1TB. Yet, what Micron brings to the table is affordability. While other drives might range up to $4,000, the Micron M500 960GB comes in low at less than a quarter of the price.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Samsung SM843 Enterprise SSD Review

The Samsung SM843 takes over from the PM830 as the entry and mainstream enterprise-class SSD designed for use in situations that tend to be read-intensive like compute server boot drives, higher-end client workstation needs, and certain embedded applications. The drive utilizes a SATA interface, offers a slim 7mm drive height, and leverages an in-house Samsung 20nm MLC NAND as well as a Samsung controller and firmware stack. To allay concerns, the SM843 offers write endurance of 1PB (1000TB). Design-wise, the SM843 looks much like its client-focused cousin, the 840 Pro, however the core differences are added over-provisioning in the SM843 to show higher endurance and a firmware that's tuned for workloads that are more read-heavy.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Micron P400m Enterprise SSD Review

The Micron P400m is an enterprise SSD engineered for use in servers, appliances and storage platforms. The P400m uses a mainstream 7mm 2.5" form factor, SATA interface and Micron's 25nm MLC NAND. Like the P300 this drive replaces, the P400m uses a Marvell drive controller with customized Micron firmware on top that has been tuned for performance under even read and write usage scenarios. From a performance perspective, the P400m delivers 64KB sequential reads and writes of 380MB/s and 310MB/s respectively, with 4KB random read and write IOPS of up to 60,000 and 26,000.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Talos 2 Enterprise SSD Review

The OCZ Talos 2 is an enterprise SSD that uses a SAS interface, MLC NAND and 2.5" form factor. The Talos 2 comes in two variations, an R model that includes powerfail protection and more over provisioning and a C model that does not, giving enterprises flexibility based on their needs. Architecturally, the Talos 2 is somewhat unique in the marketplace in that it uses dual controllers in a 2.5" form factor. OCZ leverages their Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0 to tie together a pair of SandForce flash controllers, which provides both performance and capacity benefits.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Intel SSD DC S3700 Series Enterprise SSD Review

The Intel SSD DC S3700 uses a 6Gb/s SATA interface paired with MLC NAND, in-house controller and is offered in both 2.5" and 1.8" form factors. The S3700 is designed for the mainstream and high-performance enterprise market segments and carries an aggressive pricing scheme (40% lower MSRP than prior model), making the drive consumable by just about any server compute or flash array need. The easy to deploy message, along with Intel's heritage of offering SSDs with leading endurance and performance makes the S3700 compelling to a wide range of use cases.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

STEC s840 Enterprise SSD Review

The STEC s840 is a 6Gb/s SAS SSD targeted toward the high performance enterprise market segment. The s840 features a completely designed and developed in-house controller and firmware stack paired with MLC NAND in a 15mm, 2.5" form factor. It comes in 200GB, 400GB and 800GB capacities and offers sustained read throughput of up to 529MB/s, write throughput of 453MB/s and maximum read IOPS of 118,000. As with most enterprise SSDs, STEC is about more than just raw performance though; STEC has a robust portfolio of intellectual property that gives them certain advantages in SSD design, along with a heritage that goes back to 1994.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

SMART Storage Systems Optimus SAS Enterprise SSD Review

When SMART Storage Systems (now SanDisk) announced the Optimus SAS SSD months ago, their pride in design, build and manufacture was clear, much like a proud parent parading their first-born. The key from SMART's perspective is being able to better understand NAND to drive enterprise-grade endurance out of consumer grade MLC NAND. The Optimus however goes a step further, pressing SMART's engineering skills by leveraging a custom firmware build on top of a custom controller, giving them even more control over the SSD as a system. The results are impressive for a mainstream enterprise SSD - endurance of 10 full random drives writes per day for five years, along with up to 500MB/s sustained read/write throughput. The specs alone don't tell the whole Optimus tale however. In the intro to this review we've already called the Optimus a mainstream enterprise SSD, which is largely based on the NAND profile. That may be a mistake however. While the Optimus may present SLC-like endurance with MLC NAND, it's also capable of presenting SLC-like performance, with MLC NAND. In some cases it even bests SLC drives, which we'll dive into more below.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Kingston SSDNow E100 Enterprise SSD Review

The Kingston SSDNow E100 represents Kingston's first SSD offering designed specifically for the burgeoning entry enterprise market that relies on enterprise MLC NAND to offer a lower-cost enterprise drive designed for largely read intensive workloads. Don't let the lower-cost target fool you though, the E100 is very much enterprise-grade throughout. Kingston uses a SandForce SF-2500 enterprise SSD controller to power the drive and Toshiba's eMLC Toggle NAND. The E100 also features power-fail support to ensure data in-flight makes it to the NAND safely and roughly 20% NAND over provisioning which benefits both SSD endurance and performance.

Read more
by Josh Linden

pureSilicon Kage K1 Enterprise SSD Review

Enterprise SSD solutions that incorporate eMLC NAND memory are an area of active innovation with a variety of players bringing solutions to market. PureSi is looking to carve out an eMLC niche with its new Kage K1, a 2.5-inch SATA 3.0 SSD that will be offered in a variety of capacities from 50GB to 400GB. We’ve been putting a 200GB Kage K1 through its paces for a few weeks in order to see how PureSi’s eMLC solution stacks up to comparables from incumbents Hitachi, Intel, and Samsung.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

SanDisk Lightning Enterprise SSD Review (LB 406S)

When SanDisk invested $327 million to acquire Pliant one thing was clear; SanDisk saw an opportunity to leverage their expertise in NAND and storage with Pliant's SAS controller knowledge and storage technologies to create class-leading enterprise SSDs that would excel in both performance and reliability. The current result is the SanDisk Lightning enterprise SSD family that includes both MLC and SLC SAS 6Gb SSDs.

Read more