Dell's latest flash storage aims for low cost with TLC 3D NAND technology

The SC4020 tries for the mantle of lowest cost-per-gigabyte for flash arrays at $1.66 per GB for all flash and 58 cents for hybrids.

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Dell's SC4020: "drops the dollar per gigabyte cost of enterprise flash storage to roughly the same cost as 15K RPM HDDs". Photo: Dell

As the IT world tries to come to terms with the booming popularity and plummeting cost of flash storage, Dell is making a real effort to lead the way.

According to the company, Dell's new SC4020 all-in-one disk arrays have up to 24 times performance improvement and same price for capacity as 15K hard disk drives, and up to 90 terabytes of raw flash capacity per Dell Storage 2U array.

Eric Burgener, research director of storage systems at IDC said cost has been the single biggest stumbling block to flash adoption in the data centre and he thinks that Dell's announcement of a lower dollar per gigabyte price point for all-flash configurations will enable the use of flash technology across an even greater variety of enterprise workloads.

Burgener said: "Dell's announcement of flash drives built on TLC 3D NAND technology puts them in the storage density lead at 45TB per rack unit for flash-based arrays and drops the dollar per gigabyte cost of enterprise flash storage to roughly the same cost as 15K RPM HDDs."

According to Dell its new virtualised storage array architecture "enables an inventive approach to intelligently leverage multiple flash types in the same array based on workload goals and usage patterns". This, it says, "has led to a series of high-speed, yet economical Dell Storage flash-optimised arrays in both all-flash and hybrid flash configurations".

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Dell's Atkinson: "Dell continues to ... tear down cost barriers to flash adoption". Photo: Dell

According to Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager, Dell Storage, Dell is the first array vendor to announce support for this latest flash technology.

With Dell's Data Progression intelligent data placement technology and the release of Dell Storage Center 6.6 array software, the Dell Storage SC Series arrays will be optimised on "new Mainstream RI flash drives based on TLC 3D NAND" said Dell in a statement. The Mainstream RI arrays have "the industry's lowest-cost per gigabyte, highest-density enterprise flash drives" Dell said and so "offer SSDs at approximately the same price per gigabyte as high-end 15K HDDs and with up to 24 times performance improvement, up to six times the density, lower latency and lower power consumption".

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