The requirements for the data center are far different from those of the client market. While both benefit from and demand high performance, the data center also requires high availability to mission critical assets, manageability of the system infrastructure, and scalability to handle spikes in workload demand. It is therefore vital that resellers offer their clients storage solutions such as those manufactured by Micron that are purpose built for the data center.
As a world leader in both memory and NAND manufacturing, Micron has a unique combination of strengths and expertise essential to the development of enterprise class SSDs. With that knowledge, Micron has developed their own proprietary SSD architecture enhancements called XPERT which stands for Extended Performance and Enhanced Reliability Technology. Micron XPERT consists of several fundamental design features that ensure enterprise-level reliability, endurance, performance and superior data protection, which provide real-world advantages for growing data centers.
Micron engineers designed key features in XPERT that minimize host CPU overhead by managing certain I/O tasks in hardware on the SSD rather than burdening the system processor. ARM/OR (Adaptive Read Management/Optimized Read) is a feature that dynamically tunes read settings for optimized performance and reliability over the SSD’s entire lifespan. ReCAL (Reduced Command Access Latency) substantially reduces write latency by managing background operations in an efficient and non-disruptive manner. These two features are unique in that they help to provide consistently low latency and free up CPU cycles to run applications, rather than manage storage I/O, which contributes to faster I/O throughput.
XPERT also leverages Micron’s in-house NAND design and fabrication advantages. Through Media Customizations, Micron engineers integrate custom manufacturing test flows such as media pre-cycling to greatly reduce early-life failures and enhance drive durability as well as reliability.
The XPERT feature set also includes several features that help maintain data integrity and improve power loss resiliency. XPERT includes RAIN (Redundant Array of NAND) which uses real-time parity protection similar to how disk arrays use RAID to protect data from media failure. Another feature includes DataSAFE which embeds memory protection ECC and the logical block address (LBA) with the host data before storing both in the drive. Storing this additional metadata helps to ensure data integrity as the information travels back and forth from the host.
Manageability is a key consideration in the data center. Micron maintains in-house expertise for controller and firmware development so their SSDs track critical performance metrics and wear parameters, which monitor and accurately predict the drives remaining lifespan, as well as provides alerts related to the drives health. Being able to determine when to schedule replacements of a drive based on its use enables administrators to more effectively maintain their storage systems.
Micron offers a full range of products for the data center including SATA, SAS, and PCIe SSDs, as well as dual-port interfaces for SAS or U.2 drives for applications that require uninterrupted 24/7 data access. The drives are available in a wide range of capacities and endurance ratings allowing integrators to select drives fine-tuned for read intensive, write intensive or mixed mode use. Micron’s vertical integration as a NAND fabricator and SSD developer, combined with their broad offering of technology features, helps their enterprise SSDs deliver:
- Fast application response times and high I/O throughput
- High Productivity
- Fast time-to-market with new products and services
- Higher revenues and lower TCO