High-Capacity SSD Buying Guide

By Drew Robb


While disk and flash makers such as Western Digital, Samsung and Micron manufacture high-capacity SSDs, storage OEMs are rolling them out inside their own arrays. The NetApp All Flash FAS array with the ONTAP operating system, for example, is said to deliver high performance along with data efficiency features which maximize the effective capacity of high-capacity 15 TB SSDs. It features 4:1 data efficiency, advanced data management and data protection features.

And there are plenty of other high-capacity SSDs out there from leading storagevendors, as well as from the many flash-array vendors in the marketplace. These include:


HPE 3PAR StoreServ All-flash Storage employs a wide range of SSD sizes from 400 GB up to 15.36 TB SSDs. While the overall IOPS per GB decreases as the SSD size increases, the overall latency still remains constant at scale. As a result, even at bigger sizes like 15.36 TB, the IOPs density is still 15 times better than HDDs. Also, overall rebuild times are significantly faster when compared to HDDs.

“We have noticed a fast uptake in these larger, newer technology SSDs as we introduce them,” said Ivan Iannaccone, director of product management, HPE 3PAR. “This is driven by both the density advantages that come as technology evolves and by the cost advantages of these denser drives.”

In the summer, for example, HPE launched 7.68 TB and 15.36 TB SSDs for its 3PAR StoreServ units. HPE’s view is that bigger SSDs make sense only in an architecture that can handle high-capacity SSDs. For this reason, HPE has invented technologies like Adaptive Sparing and Express Layout that help the SSD and the array handle flash at scale. Adaptive Sparing is a form of storage virtualization that enables excess capacity to be used as spares. This allows storage systems to survive in the event of a component failure. Similarly, Express Layout is another type of storage virtualization that adds more control in terms of where and how data is stored.


To date, Tintri hasn’t rolled out the largest SSDs available. That said, it does offer 3.84 TB SSDs in its T5080 all-flash system. But pack 24 of these drives per unit, and you can scale out to 10 PB of capacity in 66U of rack space.

Dell EMC

Dell EMC recently released the VMAX 250F, which is said to offer an enterprise-class solution with midmarket economics. Scaling up to 1PB of effective capacity and over 1 million IOPS with sub-millisecond response times, the VMAX 250F supports 7.6 TB and 15 TB enterprise flash drives. The VMAX 250F is based on the Dell EMC V-Brick architecture. A fully configured VMAX 250F provides up to 64 host ports, with a fully loaded VMAX 250F V-Brick consuming only 10U of rack space.

Pure Storage

Pure Storage has also gotten into the petabyte-scale flash storage game with its latest FlashArray//m. This is the fifth generation of Pure Storage’s flagship FlashArray product, and it can scale up to 512 TB of raw in 7U of rack space. There are four different controller options that deliver a 20 to 30 percent performance boost and a 100 to 276 percent capacity boost over the previous FlashArray//m generation.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on December 01, 2016

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