​Samsung shows off biggest ever SSD for the enterprise

So you want a monster solid-state drive do you? Boy does Samsung have a drive for you!
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Do you want a seriously big and seriously fast solid state drive (SSD) for your enterprise servers? Samsung has exactly what you need. Its new PM1633a SSD holds an amazing 15.36 terabytes (TB) of data.

Samsung PM1633a SSD

The Samsung PM1633a SSD may look ordinary, but inside its Clark Kent exterior lives a Superman of 15.36TB storage/


Space is all well and good, but the PM1633a SSD also provides the speed your Big Data projects need with its 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface. Better still, if you need to maximize your physical space as well as your storage space, the PM1633a comes in a 2.5-inch form factor. That means you can can fit twice as many of the drives in a standard 19-inch, 2U rack, compared to an equivalent 3.5-inch storage drive.

How did Samsung manage to fit over 15TB on a single SSD? The Korean company did it by combining 512 of Samsung's 256Gb V-NAND memory chips. The 256Gb dies, in turn, are stacked in 16 layers to form a single 512GB package, with a total of 32 NAND flash packages in the 15.36TB drive.

Samsung stacks 3rd generation, 256-gigabit (Gb) V-NAND technology 48 layers cell-arrays. This means that the PM1633a line-up provides significant performance and reliability upgrades from its predecessor, the PM1633.

So how fast is it? Samsung claims "the PM1633a SSD sports random read and write speeds of up to 200,000 and 32,000 IOPS respectively, and delivers sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,200MB/s. The random read IOPS performance is approximately 1,000 times that of SAS-type hard disks, while the sequential read and write speeds are over twice those of a typical SATA SSD. Inside the new SSD lie Samsung's advanced controller units that support the 12Gb/s SAS interface, along with a total of 16GB of DRAM. Samsung also uses specially designed firmware that can access large amounts of high-density NAND flash concurrently."

Fast enough for you? I would think so.

Of course, if you're talking SSDs you have to worry about their long term reliability. Samsung states that it has you covered. "The 15.36TB PM1633a drive supports 1 DWPD (drive writes per day), which means 15.36TB of data can be written every day on this single drive without failure, a level of reliability that will improve cost of ownership for enterprise storage systems. This drive can write from two to ten times as much data as typical SATA SSDs based on planar MLC and TLC NAND flash technologies."

If something does go wrong -- and, as Google can tell you, SSD do fail -- the drive also comes with a metadata protection mechanism. It also features a data protection and restoration software tool in case of a momentary blackout.

If those stats sound good to you, but you really don't need over 15TBs on a single SSD, Samsung has products coming for you too. Samsung will provide a wide range of capacity options in its PM1633a SSD line-up. These will include 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960-gigabyte (GB) and 480GB models later this year.

"To satisfy an increasing market need for ultra-high-capacity SAS SSDs from leading enterprise storage system manufacturers, we are directing our best efforts toward meeting our customers' SSD requests," said Jung-bae Lee, Samsung's Senior VP of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team in a statement.

If the PM1633a lives up to its promises, Samsung will have managed to meet the needs of even its most demanding corporate SSD clients..

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