Solidigm has the new NVMe SSD, designed to displace hard drives from more data center and high-end applications. With up to 15.36TB today, and more than 30TB in the second half of 2023, the new QLC-based drives are high-capacity, with features to compete on a dollar/TB basis. What’s fun for people who keep an eye on space is, like consumer drives (like the Solidigm P44 Pro), the new line of data center drives have a purple Solidigm label instead of the traditional Intel ones.
Solidigm D5-P5430 launched a brand new sports
A fun thing with the new line is that it fits high-end drives designed for performance and low-end QLC drives designed for infrequent writing, read a lot (we’ll call this WIRO access.)
The thing that Solidigm is trying to push, and it’s tarnished a bit by capacity, is the idea that newer drives have less endurance. Because drives have a larger capacity, they have lower DWPD ratings, but higher or competitive petabytes written (PBW) ratings. This makes sense since larger drives are transitioning from being only cache drives to becoming primary storage.
Here are the main specifications. Perhaps one of the most interesting factors outside of the U.2, E3.S, and E1.S form factors, capabilities, and performance is that this supports OCP 2.0 log pages, a feature we’re seeing more new drives adopt. This allows people to build things like predictive failure mechanisms at the fleet level.
In performance, Solidigm has some competitive numbers. Since a number of these drives have or will soon have relevant updates, we’ll just show them. I ran some basic performance tests with the Solidigm drive provided, and my results are roughly in line with what they list here.
Here are Solidigm’s realistic workload numbers. These are relative performance numbers but in the above the Micron 7450 Pro is used as the 1.0 baseline, while in the one below the Solidigm D5-P5430 is the baseline. Solidigm gets a lot of this performance with a 16-channel console while many of the TLC engines in this segment use 8-channel consoles.
Solidigm also has examples of a TLC array with a 15.36TB SSD against the new D5-P5430 which uses 7TB. A TLC array should have better object storage performance due to more 7TB drives, but a 30.72TB array could have lower costs.
Solidigm did the same looking at a hybrid combo with 18TB HDDs and TLC SSDs vs. all-flash work.
She also talked about how to protect data from Silent Data Corruption and believes it is the best in this field. It is not difficult to imagine who “Supplier S”, “Supplier M” and so on are.
We have these drives in the lab and we’re testing a 15.36TB U.2 model. Since we have a lot of SSD news today, we will review the SSD later.
This is the first Solidigm data center drive we’ve seen with markings other than ES, and Solidigm Purple instead of the Intel logos.
While the branding is now purple, the drive’s exterior still reminds me of older Intel designs.
This is the side of the U.2 connector.
The bottom is basically featureless; Some Intel drives from the past have bumps and extra surface area to help dissipate heat, while the P5430 is simply flat.
Still, it’s fun to see the brand new in a real engine.
15.36TB U.2 drives are out now. Some other SSD form factors are awaiting certification, but will be coming soon. Solidigm expects to bring the line out completely in the second half of 2023.
Stay tuned for our review of these new SSDs in the next few weeks.
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