Intel Shrinks Its SSDs for Microservers

Posted on November 13, 2014 By Pedro Hernandez


Intel's DC S3500 line of solid-state drives (SSDs) for the data center now offers a smaller version for downsized servers.

In a brief blog post, Krystal Temple of the chipmaker's media relations group, announced the new M.2 form factor SSDs, which at "roughly the size of a stick of gum" delivers end-to-end data and power loss protection features found in 2.5-inch models. "These industry trusted features meet the demands of server boot, micro server storage and embedded devices such as ATMs, digital signage and point-of-sale systems," she added.

The new M.2 SSDs aligns with Intel's growing support for the microserver market.

During the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2014 in September, the company announced that it begun sampling a 14-nanometer "Broadwell"-based Xeon system on chip (SoC) for dense, low-power servers. The new chips are also aimed at entry-level storage systems and low-end networking equipment.

Now, Intel is tackling the storage piece of the puzzle.

According to the company's tests, DC S3500 SSDs pack 20nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chip and can sustain 75,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). Latency typically hovers around 50 microseconds. The compact M.2 variety is available in capacities of 80 GB, 120 GB and 340 GB, the latter of which can read and write data at rates of 480 MB per second and 355 MB per second, respectively. Power consumption is rated at 1.3 watts for read operations, 5 watts for writes and 650 milliwatts at idle.

Enterprise-centric perks include several data protection and loss prevention features. Intel DC S3500 SSDs employ parity checks, cyclic redundancy checks (CRC) and logical block address (LBA) tag validation to protect data in transit. Faced with imminent power loss, the drives leverage the company's Enhanced Power-Loss Data Protection technology to save all cached data prior to shutting down.

Meanwhile, Intel has lifted the storage limits on its standard-sized DC S3500 SSDs. "The 2.5 inch 1.2TB and 1.6TB versions, double available storage capacity within the same footprint, optimizing critical data center real estate," added Temple. Both versions support read and write speeds of up to 500 MB per second and 460 MB per second, respectively. All DC S3500 SSDs carry a 2 million hour mean time between failure rating.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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