SanDisk intros workload-optimized CloudSpeed server SSDs

SanDisk is bolstering its CloudSpeed family of server-oriented SATA SSDs with four new models tuned for different workloads. The drives are all based on the same 6Gbps controller and 19-nm MLC NAND. However, they've been carefully segmented with different capacity points, performance ratings, and endurance specifications to suit specific audiences. Here's how the models stack up:

Model Capacities Max seq. (MB/s) Max ran. (IOps) Drive writes
per day
Total writes Warranty
Read Write Read Write
CloudSpeed Eco 240-960GB 450 400 75,000 15,000 1 1.05PB 3 years
CloudSpeed Ascend 240-960GB 450 400 75,000 14,000 1 1.75PB 5 years
CloudSpeed Ultra 200-800GB 450 400 75,000 25,000 3 4.38PB 5 years
CloudSpeed Extreme 200-800GB 450 400 75,000 25,000 10 14.60PB 5 years

The CloudSpeed Extreme is the daddy of the group. It's designed for write-intensive workloads and has the highest endurance and performance ratings. Impressively, the Extreme is claimed to be good for over 14 petabytes of writes—more than three times the endurance of the CloudSpeed Ultra. That model has similar performance ratings, but it's targeted more toward mixed-used applications.

The new CloudSpeed drives have largely identical performance ratings, but the Ascend and Eco variants have slower random write specs. They're also tagged with lower endurance ratings: just over 1PB for the Eco and 1.75PB for the Ascend. These drives are meant for more read-intensive tasks, like serving web video and imagery, and for providing quick access to "hot data" that doesn't change frequently.

All the new CloudSpeed SSDs are based on Toshiba flash. The different models have the same amount of NAND, but the Ultra and Extreme set aside more of it as overprovisioned spare area. This additional flash improves both endurance and random write performance.

SanDisk wouldn't confirm the controller used in the new CloudSpeed lineup, but the company did point to its existing CloudSpeed products as a hint. Those drives employ Marvell controller chips, and it seems the new ones do, as well—unofficially, anyway. On top of that foundation, SanDisk adds Guardian Technology, which includes power-loss protection, data path protection, and parity-based redundancy. The Guardian umbrella also extends to the advanced signal processing techniques designed to squeeze extra life out of the flash.

Right now, the new CloudSpeed SSDs are being qualified by most of the big-name server builders. They should be available inside systems starting in mid-Q2, but they won't hit the channel until the end of the second quarter. SanDisk hasn't announced official pricing yet.

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