Samsung lays down PCIe server flash gauntlet

Are you listening, SanDisk?

Faster, fatter flash cards that speed up server applications are in demand, and Samsung has announced it is mass-producing a 3.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD using its 3D V-NAND technology. It says higher capacities are coming.

The SM1715 doubles the previous NVMe SSD XS1715's 1.6TB capacity maximum, and that product used standard 2D planar NAND.

It delivered up to 740,000 4K IOPS and had a 3GB/sec read bandwidth. The SM1715 does up to 750,000/130,000 random read/write IOPS (block size unknown, thought to be 4K) and has a 3GB/sec read bandwidth and 2.2GB/sec write bandwidth. Samsung will be releasing more product information soon.

The endurance is 10 full drive writes a day for five years and the targeted hosts for this half-height, half-length card are high-end enterprise servers.

Samsung SM1715 3D V-NAND NVMe PCIe SSD

Samsung SM1715 3D V-NAND NVMe PCIe SSD - we love initials

How does this 3D V-NAND product stack up (sorry) against other PCIe flash cards?

It isn't a leader in the capacity stakes. HGST's FlashMax II runs up to 4.8TB but it doesn't perform as well - 269,000/51,000 random read/write IOPS and 2.6/0.9 GB/sec read/write. HGST has its newer FlashMax II cards that go faster, 531,000 random read O+IOPS for example, but top out at 2.2TB.

SanDisk (Fusion-io) has a 2.4TB ioDrive 2 Duo doing 700,000 random read IOPS with 512-byte blocks and 3GB/sec sequential read and write. The Atomic SX300 goes up to 6.4TB, but is slower but more balanced than Samsung's speedster at 215,000/300,000 random read/write IOPS.

Intel, Micron, Seagate and Toshiba have lower capacity and generally slower PCIe SSDs. They'll need to refresh their product lines to match Samsung.

We can expect all of these suppliers to jump aboard the NVMe train.

Samsung Electronics memory marketing VP Jeeho Baek said in a prepared statement: "Samsung plans to aggressively introduce V-NAND-based SSDs with even higher performance, density and reliability in the future."

Keep 'em coming Jeeho – it'll keep the competition on its toes. ®

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