The second post in our “SMART” tips series discusses one of the most important features you should consider when looking for SSDs: endurance. In case you missed the first “SMART” tips post in May, I began offering tips on selecting the best enterprise SSD for your organization. In our last post, we talked about the impact of read and write levels on performance and performance degradation. Because performance and performance degradation is affected by endurance, we make it one of our goals here at SMART Storage Systems to continually innovate technologies that extend endurance.
Endurance is the amount of data that can be written to an SSD during its lifetime and is typically characterized by P/E (Program-Erase) cycles, TBW (Total Bytes Written), or DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day). It is essentially how long your SSD will last and is a topic of much discussion. The number of times data is written to the drive is finite and, with time, the Flash begins to wear. As Flash begins to wear, more and more errors on the Flash causes time-consuming error recovery mechanisms, which in turn, causes performance degradation.
Up until today, SSD drive endurance was a function of the component level endurance of the Flash technology used in the drive. High endurance was achieved by using SLC NAND Flash, but SSDs based on this Flash technology were cost prohibitive for most enterprise applications. Lower cost was achieved through the usage using MLC NAND Flash, but SSDs based on this technology could not be used for mainstream write-intensive workloads due to their quick wear out. SMART Storage Systems’ innovative FlashGuard technology eliminates the tradeoff between cost and endurance, by extracting higher endurance from MLC Flash, well beyond the standard component specifications. By applying Flash management techniques such as signal processing and Aggregated Flash management, endurance can be extended. With this, you can take advantage of better performing storage at a lower price, thus speeding up the adoption of SSD in the enterprise.
To better understand SSD endurance, feel free to download the following white paper: Guardian Technology Platform.
Thanks for tuning in to our “SMART” tips series! Stop by in September to get “SMART” on reliability, which is important to consider when using SSDs in mission critical enterprise applications.
Should you want to learn more about choosing the right SSD, feel free to comment under this post or send us an email at email@example.com.
- Esther Spanjer, Director, SSD Technical Marketing, SMART Storage Systems