Intel Debuts NVMe Enterprise PCIe SSDs

By Pedro Hernandez

Intel is rolling out two new PCIe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) for businesses that are struggling to cut Big Data down to size.

The company's SSD Data Center Family for PCIe portfolio now has three new product lines, the DC P3700, DC P3600 and DC P3500 series. The P3700 is aimed at write-intensive workloads, while the P3600 and the P3500 are better suited for mixed and read-heavy application environments, respectively.

An Intel spokesperson told InfoStor in an email that the new hardware is "designed for the era of Big Data and [to] speed up access to data in the data center, ensuring better response times for business and faster access to information for consumers." The new drives leverage the NVMHCI Work Group's NVM Express (NVMe) standard, a PCI Express SSD interface with a latency-reducing technology that boasts a streamlined register interface and command set.

"With NVMe technology, a standard designed for low latency non-volatile memory like SSDs, the new SSDs help to modernize the data center, deliver reliable performance and lower total cost of ownership," added the Intel representative. Intel claims that its NVMe-compliant PCIe SSDs can improve processor utilization and reduce interface latency at levels that surpass 6 Gbps SATA SSDs. NVMe drivers are available for multiple operating systems, including Linux and Windows.

In addition, the new hardware features Intel's third-generation controller and optimized custom firmware. It all adds up to server add-on cards that can deliver up to up to 460,000 input and outputs per second (IOPS), 2.8 GB per second read speeds and 1.9 GB per second write speeds, according to company estimates.

Intel's enterprise-grade SSDs are also built to last.

All the drives carry a mean time between failure rating of 2 million hours -- over 228 years, noted Intel -- and are covered by a 5-year warranty. The top-of-the-line P3700 series is particularly hardy.

Intel claims that P3700 can sustain 10 full-drive writes per day, or a total of 36 PB. By comparison, the mixed-workload P3600 can tackle up to three drive writes per day while the read-friendly P3500 handles up to 0.3 drive writes per day.

Prices start at $560. Storage capacity ranges from 400 GB to 2 TB. The P3500 and P3600 product lines get an extra 1.2 TB version, which is not available in the P3700 series.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on June 04, 2014