WD aims to tame growing data needs with latest enterprise SAS SSD

The Ultrastar SS300 offers four endurance levels, ranging from 0.5 to 10 full drive writes a day

With data centers seeing rapid data growth, Western Digital Corp. (WD) has announced its highest performing 2.5-in. small form-factor SSD. The drive is aimed at helping companies deal with increasing needs for virtualized storage systems, online transaction processing, database analytics and private and hybrid clouds.

WD's Ultrastar SS300, developed in partnership with Intel, uses a 12Gbps SAS interface and sports sequential read/write speeds 2.1GBps and 2.05GBps, respectively; the drive also offers random read/write input/output per second (IOPS) of up to 400,000 and 200,000, respectively.

"SAS SSD adoption continues to see strong growth across a variety of critical enterprise applications," said Gregor Wong, principal analyst at Forward Insights. "Western Digital's newest 12Gbps SAS SSD, the Ultrastar SS300, offers the optimum balance of performance, capacity and cost for the most demanding workloads,"

The drive is available with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash in capacities ranging from 400GB to 3.2TB, or triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash available in capacities ranging from 480GB to 7.68TB. MLC NAND stores two bits and TLC stores three bits per transistor, requiring more sophisticated wear-leveling and error correction software while enabling greater densities.

Users can choose the SSD in 9 Watt, 11 Watt or 14 Watt options, depending on their power requirements.

The drive also takes advantage of WD's 3D NAND technology, which stacks flash cells one atop another like microscopic skyscrapers, enabling vastly greater drive densities that drastically reduce production costs.

The Ultrastar SS300 comes with four endurance choices that range from half a full drive write per day to 10 full drive writes in the same period. The Ultrastar SS300 also boasts a 0.35% annual failure rate (AFR) or 2.5 million hours mean-time between failure (MTBF), according to WD.

For example, the 3.2TB version of the Ultrastar SS300 set at 10 full drive writes per day can endure up to 59 petabytes of random writes over its life. That's the equivalent of writing 16TB of data a day for five years.

The Ultrastar SS300's predecessor -- the Ultrastar SSD1600MR -- offered up to three full drive writes per day for five years and had top sequential read/write speeds of up to 1100MBps and 700MBps, respectively. It delivered up to 130,000 random read and 30,000 random write IOPS.

WD said it has significantly enhanced the Ultrastar SS300, particularly around random performance, gearing it specifically for the predominant applications used in environments such as virtualized storage systems, databases and private and hybrid cloud.

The drive also offers a choice of data security options that include Instant Secure Erase, Self-Encrypting Drive capability that's compliant with the TCG Enterprise specification and FIPS 140-2 certification.

The Ultrastar SS300 is shipping to equipment manufacturers only, and as a result, WDC isn't disclosing pricing. The company said the SSD will be available as an option from various partner vendors in support next-generation data center storage arrays.

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