Micron Unwraps Encrypted Enterprise SSDs

By Pedro Hernandez

Amid reports that Tsinghua Unigroup, Chinese state-owned IT company, is making a $23 billion bid for the memory chip firm, Micron this week unveiled a new solid-state drive (SSD) aimed at cloud environments that value data security.

The new read-centric M510DC line of SSDs feature built-in Trusted Computing Group (TCG) data encryption for protecting data at rest. Available in capacities of 120 gigabytes (GB), 240 GB, 480 GB and 960 GB, the 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps drives feature Micron's 16 nanometer (nm) NAND technology.

The company's proprietary eXtended Performance and Enhanced Reliability Technology (XPERT) architectures help the sustain up to two full drive writes a day for all but the 960 GB version, which can handle up to one full drive write each day. Each SSD consumes 1.2 W at idle and 1.5 W during drive operations.

Aimed primarily at virtualized environments and content delivery networks, the drives feature read and write speeds of up to 420 megabytes per second (MBps) and 380 MBps, respectively. The 120 GB version of the M510DC can reach up to 63,000 random read input/output operations per second (IOPS) and 12,000 random write IOPS. The top of the line 960 GB model tops out at 65,000 and 10,500 read/write IOPS, respectively.

In a Star Trek-themed blog post, Scott Shadley, senior product line manager of Micron's Data Center and Enterprise Storage division, said the drives are the high-performance cure for hard drive (HDD) sprawl.

"The answer is solid state drives (SSDs) and, specifically, SSDs that are tuned to the needs of that 42U of space," wrote Shadley. "Whether it's mission-critical data where the Micron M500DC product is living today, or that growing read-centric data searching space where the new Micron M510DC now plays, SSD architectures allow for continued growth management in data centers."

For Darren Thomas, vice president of storage at Micron, the company's new provide a cost-competitive alternative to spinning discs.

"Data center architectures are increasingly deploying flash technology to realize nimble results, but have withheld adoption due to cost," said Thomas in a statement. "The M510DC meets this rising data center segment demand, delivering enterprise-class stability and endurance at a cost that makes hard drives practically obsolete for certain applications."

Micron isn't the only flash storage provider seeking to mainstream SSDs in the data center.

Last month, SanDisk took aim at HDDs with its second-generation CloudSpeed SSDs, with capacities of up to 2 terabytes (TB). Featuring the company's 15 nm NAND flash chips and designed for cloud data centers, as its branding suggests, the SSD product line sports read and write throughput of 530 MBps and 460 MBps, respectively.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on July 15, 2015