informa
/
2 MIN READ
Commentary

Intel, Samsung Bring SSDs For Servers Closer To Reality

Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer a quick and easy (albeit not cheap) way to dramatically boost server performance, and they took another step closer to becoming standard server equipment with recent announcements from Intel and Samsung.
Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer a quick and easy (albeit not cheap) way to dramatically boost server performance, and they took another step closer to becoming standard server equipment with recent announcements from Intel and Samsung.Of course, having chips instead of mechanical parts, SSDs allow faster throughput while requiring less power and reducing noisea dream combination.

Intel has announced it would be sending samples of its 64 gigabyte SSD to computer makers this quarter. Called the X25-E, it's aimed at servers, workstations, and storage systems. The unit is said to offer sequential read speeds of up to 250 megabytes per second and sequential write speeds up to 170 megabytes per second. It draws 2.4 watts when active.

No price was given for the 64-gigabyte version, but a 32-gigabyte version is already in production and is priced at $695 for thousand-unit quantities. Obviously, SSDs come with a significant price premiumbut Intel says they can boost system performance by a factor of 100. (Production for the 64-gigabyte device is slated for 1Q09.)

Earlier this month, Samsung announced that its 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte solid-state drives have been selected for use in the Hewlett-Packard ProLiant BL495c, a blade server.

The Samsung unit was touted as having a sequential read speed of 100 megabytes per second and a sequential write speed of 80 megabytes per second. Power consumption was said to be only one-twentieth of a conventional hard drive running at 15,000 revolutions per minute, or one-half watt. In sleep mode it draws one-tenth watt. (Of course, it should also be virtually silent.)

Interestingly, however, one of the chief reasons for the selection appeared to be the desire to free up space on the server blade. (Server blades, of course, are basically circuit boards packaged to fit into a proprietary chassis that supplies power, connectivity, and cooling to the blade.) By not having a hard drive, the BL495c was able to have more room for RAM, and has 16 DRAM sockets.


Visit the bMighty Server How-To Center for practical, hands-on information about how to choose, install, and maintain your company's servers.

Don't miss the exclusive, downloadable guides: