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Industry Trends

Industry Agrees: Endurance is Key to Enterprise SSD Adoption

Do you ever wonder if and how enterprise solid-state drives (SSD) will gain mass adoption? At SMART Storage Systems, we ask this question every day and work toward making it a reality. While we continue to focus on enabling SSDs to strike a balance between performance, reliability, cost and endurance to meet the requirements of nearly any enterprise application, we are always interested in hearing why organizations switch to enterprise SSDs. Taking this one step further, we conducted a survey at this year’s Flash Memory Summit, VMworld 2012, SNW Fall 2012 and SNW Europe 2012, polling leading industry influencers, including IT management and infrastructure professionals, storage architects, and engineering and product managers from the United States and Europe. What did we find? We’re thrilled to share the results.

We have always believed that endurance is the key to making SSDs truly viable in the enterprise, so it was validating to find out that 77% of respondents believe NAND Flash endurance is the key to widespread SSD adoption in the enterprise! Additionally, the need for improved endurance of more cost-effective MLC NAND Flash was clear as 55% of respondents identified cost as the primary barrier to transitioning to an all-Flash enterprise storage environment.

The survey also found that while many believe MLC Flash is enterprise ready, 72% rated the endurance of their current SSDs as a seven or below on a 10 point scale, resulting in slower penetration of SSDs in enterprise environments due to the need to replace drives within the stated warranty period.  We are not surprised by these findings. Data center managers today look to consumer-grade MLC SSDs for the combination of cost, performance and endurance. With endurance enhancements, data centers with MLC-based SSDs thrive! Organizations no longer need to replace their SSDs multiple times, thus decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

In addition, the survey also spotlighted key factors that data center purchasers consider when evaluating solutions, including:

  • 41% of respondents say performance is the most important characteristic when evaluating SSDs, with reliability and endurance rounding out the top three.
  • 40% of respondents would choose MLC if they were the storage purchase decision maker for their data center, compared to 30% for single-level cell (SLC).
  • Only 7% of respondents would select triple-level cell (TLC) NAND Flash for their enterprise environment, if it were available.

If you are interested in learning more about the results of the survey, we encourage you to check out the announcement, pose a question in the comments section below or find us on Twitter – @SMARTSSD.

-          Esther Spanjer, Director of SSD Technical Marketing at SMART Storage Systems

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