P410m SSD brings Micron's endurance tech to SAS


— 7:00 AM on February 26, 2013

Last month, Micron introduced its P400m solid-state drive for enterprise customers. The P400m has a desktop-style Serial ATA interface, and today, it's being joined by a new model with Serial Attached SCSI connectivity. Introducing the P410m, which sports a dual-port 6Gbps SAS interface.

Apart from the SAS link, the P410m is very similar to its SATA-equipped brother. Both drives combine Micron's own high-endurance 25-nm MLC NAND with Marvell 88SS9187 controllers. The Marvell chip is a native SATA device, so the P410m taps an Emulex bridge chip to hook into SAS systems. Don't expect the drive to lose a step, though. It should be even faster than then SATA version.

According to Senior Product Manager Phil March, the fact that Micron didn't have to "address a lot of environments" with this SAS model allowed it to make some optimizations that boost performance. The fastest P410m is rated for sequential throughput of 410MB/s for reads and 345MB/s for writes, improvements of 17% and 15% over its SATA sibling. The top SAS model also offers a whopping 76% more random write IOps (30k) than its SATA counterpart but 9% fewer random read IOps (50k).

Like the P400m, the P410m has been tuned to deliver consistent long-term performance, an important characteristic for enterprise environments where reliable performance often matters more than peak rates. Those performance figures quoted above are what users can expect from the drive over the long haul—not just in a best-case scenario.

Endurance is also an important factor for enterprise, and Micron claims the P410m can endure 10 full drive fills per day for five years. For the 400GB model, that works out to staggering seven petabytes of data. Some of that longevity likely stems from Micron's ability to sort the most durable NAND chips from the massive volume of flash rolling off its production line. The P410m also employs XPERT, a cocktail of reliability and endurance technologies aimed at extending NAND life. This collection of features includes RAID-like redundancy at the block level, internal data path protection, and adaptive read algorithms that account for NAND voltage drift. There are built-in capacitors for power-loss protection, as well.

The P410m is available now, and you should be able to find it in 100, 200, and 400GB capacities. We won't have official prices, but we're told the drive carries a small premium over the SATA model. The P410m should be in the "lower quarter" of the spectrum in terms of the cost per gigabyte, Micron says, adding that it should be in the "top quarter" in terms of long-term performance.

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