Micron 5100-series SSDs make speedy datacenter storage cheaper

Being one of the world's leading NAND flash manufacturers, one could say that Micron would like nothing more than to see hard drives go away. The company launched another salvo today with its 5100-series SATA SSDs packed with 3D TLC NAND, aimed at servers and datacenters. Micron says these drives are "cost-optimized" and offer a better value than normal server hard drives. We take that to mean they're affordable, at least as server-grade hardware goes.

The new drives come in three flavors: ECO, PRO, and MAX, with a 93K IOPS random read rating across almost the entire board. The ECO drives are offered as 2.5" drives in capacities up to 8TB and M.2 sticks as large as 2TB. These drives have a fairly low 4K random write IOPS rating, going from 9K in the 8TB drive up to 31K IOPS in the 480GB model (yes, that order is correct). The endurance rating on the ECO model ranges from 0.45PB to 8.4PB of writes, increasing with capacity.  Sequential speeds are 540MB/s for reads and 520MB/s for writes, except for the 480GB unit which writes at a maximum of 380MB/s. Support for TCG Opal and AES encryption is on the menu, too.

The PRO series is, well, a little more serious. The 2.5" models top out at 4TB, while the M.2 versions are available in capacities up to 2TB. Write speeds on these models range from 26K IOPS to 43K IOPS depending on the model. Like the ECO lineup, the faster drives in the series when it comes to random writes are the 480GB capacity models. The bigger drives don't vary much in terms of random writes, around 37K IOPS give or take a thousand. Endurance ratings go from 0.65PB to 17.6PB written. For sequential operations, all drives read at 540MB/s. The 240GB drives can hit 250MB/s during writes, the 480GB model can go as high as 410MB/s, and the remaining models do 520MB/s.

Finally, there's the MAX lineup. Along with superior performance ratings, the MAX drives offers support for FIPS 140-2 cryptography and improved durability. Micron only offers these drives in 2.5" housings with capacities up to 2TB. Random write ratings for the MAX drives range between 74K IOPS and 66K IOPS for the higher-capacity models, and 48K for the smaller 240GB unit. Since these are the premium in the lineup, their endurance ratings start at 2.2PB and go up to 17.6PB of writes. Sequential read speeds are once again 540MB/s across the board. When it comes to sequential writes, the 240GB model can do 310MB/s, the 480GB variant ups the ante to 460MB/s, and the higher-capacity models top out at 520MB/s.

Micron indicates that the 2.5" drives in capacities up to 2TB are in production right now, along with the M.2 variants up to 960GB. Higher-capacity units, meanwhile, are "sampling." For the full specs list, you can check out Micron's datasheet PDF here.

Comments closed
    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 3 years ago

    Yes, but how much? Cuz if I am going to be an Early Adopter I want nothing more than to [i<]pay through da nose[/i<]!

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    The endurance stated on both PDFs says total writes not per day. Can someone confirm?

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      The article has been corrected, those numbers refer to total writes, not petabytes per day. My brain probably engaged “TB mode” instead of petabyte.

    • Ultracer
    • 3 years ago

    “0.45PB to 8.4PB per day”

    Daf#% xD

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      The article has been corrected, those numbers refer to total writes, not petabytes per day. My brain probably engaged “TB mode” instead of petabyte.

    • Scrotos
    • 3 years ago

    Data center? So there is a SAS version?

      • Shinare
      • 3 years ago

      ^This – Need 4TB SAS versions of this.

      • Kurlon
      • 3 years ago

      Heh, beat me to the punch. SATA != Datacenter.

        • davidbowser
        • 3 years ago

        disclaimer – I used to work for EMC.

        Same reaction. I read the pdf spec sheet just to make sure, but they are all either SATA or M.2.

        SATA is pretty much synonymous with cheaper low-end datacenter arrays (think NAS instead of SAN) so since this is TLC, they maybe are trying to create cheaper tiers that are still flash. I also wonder if this is also targeted more for production workstations. Still seems like an odd duck.

        • TheEldest
        • 3 years ago

        Drive manufacturers have split the traditional datacenter into two market segments: Datacenter and Enterprise.

        Datacenter is geared toward distributed applications (cassandra, hadoop, mongodb, etc).
        Enterprise are the standard enterprise applications (exchange, oracle, sap, etc)

        The SATA drives here are demonstrably more reliable than 10k and 15k SAS drives but lack the dual port capability. Given that nearly all server-side storage devices don’t use redundant controllers, there’s little difference between using SATA or SAS for these applications (except that SATA controllers are a fair bit cheaper).

        So if you’re looking for cheap server-side SSDs that have power loss protection via capacitors, these SATA drives fit the bill (as well as the products from Samsung and others).

        If you’re looking to put drives in a SAN or behind redundant SAS controllers, then look at their SAS drives (also models by Samsung, Toshiba & Seagate). They currently go up to 3.84TB (https://www.micron.com/products/solid-state-storage/bus-interfaces/sas-ssds)

    • flipper
    • 3 years ago

    Petabytes per day endurance? You sure it’s not terabytes per day?

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      Says PB on both pieces of info they provided.

        • flipper
        • 3 years ago

        Says PB for Total Bytes Written, not Per Day.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      The endurance numbers look good even for the ECO, but given that it’s the same NAND for the MAX, those 5x more Petabytes per day endurance are probably down to a [i<]huge[/i<] DRAM and SLC cache designed to minimise page wipes in the main TLC NAND area.

        • morphine
        • 3 years ago

        The article has been corrected, those numbers refer to total writes, not petabytes per day. My brain probably engaged “TB mode” instead of petabyte.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          Ah that’s a shame. I was actually hoping that Micron’s 3D NAND was superior to Samsung’s in the endurance department.

          At total writes, they’re pretty average which means they’ll need to compete on compatibility with SAN controllers and warranty coverage. Still possible, of course.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      The article has been corrected, those numbers refer to total writes, not petabytes per day. My brain probably engaged “TB mode” instead of petabyte.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    How much overprovisioning has to be done for the MAX line’s endurance to hold?

    • Wirko
    • 3 years ago

    “Datacenter”? That’s cat video central storage, right? TLC is a pure waste of silicon, six bits per cell would be just right for that.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      For several years now we’ve offered PDF storage for different documents for students and families (things like medical forms, proof of residency, etc.) in the database. In the last couple years people really started taking that “free” storage seriously, and now we’ve got lots of 75-100GB databases across a bunch of SQL 2014 servers. For DBs like that which deal with mostly-read operations, these might do decently. I don’t know enough about the hosting side of things to know for sure, but I can speculate baselessly, right?

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        Generally speaking, so would spinning disk storage.

      • TheEldest
      • 3 years ago

      3D TLC chips will have better endurance than the current Planar MLC chips due to cell size being dramatically larger. Last report I saw showed 3D NAND being roughly 40nm whereas current planar NAND is in the teens (16nm, 15nm).

      So you have 10s of electrons in a planar MLC cell and 100s of electrons in a 3D TLC cell. Makes a pretty big difference.

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