SSD PRICES REVISITED

toshiba qlc ssd chipsWe recently got a price list from Nimbus Data we mentioned a while ago who had 100TB SSD drives. We know the products are primarily being sold to data centers who need higher capacity storage density.

100 TB SSD in the same form factor as a 14 TB hard disk makes for a compelling argument for some business. We are aware that the SSD products are using SATA and SAS interfaces which is relatively low performance.

RAID cards are widely used to speed up hard disks and SSD drives are compatible. RAID 6 is 2 drive failure tolerant which is desirable as regeneration of the parity with large capacity drives can take a many hours. During the regeneration the array is read only pending completion.

The image shows the new Toshiba QLC NAND which they have been developing for the last few years. QLC have the disadvantage of less write endurance which makes then less attractive for databases which are read/write. Toshiba has been able to improve the durability and testing has shown them to be less problematic than feared.

The faster U.2 interface would have made the 100 TB SSD products much more useful for high performance supercomputing users. Instead the products are more or less just an expensive hard disk substitute.

Copying files with modern hard disks with 256 MB and larger caches can actually saturate SATA ports with speeds of over 500 MB/s of sequential rates. The very high areal density of modern hard disks are able to dump a vast amount of data over the SATA cables.

The SATA format would be fine if a database was in use with random access of small records. We have no need for such capacity for general storage. The MySQL database that this site uses is 64 GB which is far more than is needed. There is room enough for hundreds of sites.

Some perspective would help. A novel is about 1 megabyte in size. A gigabyte is one thousand time more so the 64 GB is equivalent of 64,000 full length novels. The typical article on a website is much smaller so proportionally more texts can fit 64 GB.

NIMBUS PRODUCTS

EDDC35-060250 ExaDrive DC 3.5” 25.0 TB SSD: SATA interface $8,900.00
EDDC35-060500 ExaDrive DC 3.5” 50.0 TB SSD: SATA interface $17,500.00
EDDC35-061000 ExaDrive DC 3.5” 100.0 TB SSD: SATA interface $49,990.00

100TB is nice for the vast number of games we own but hard disks are far less costly. So far we have not yet outstripped the hard disk capacity wall yet but the growing size of games is likely to continue.

Samsung has some high capacity SSD products. The PM1643 2.5″ 30 TB SSD sells for about $12,000. It has a faster SAS interface with double the speed of SATA. The smaller size means more aggregate density compared to the Nimbus SSD products.

CONSUMER SSD PRODUCTS

1 TB consumer SSD drive products have seen such significant price erosion that are now pressuring the larger capacity points. Prices for 2 TB SSD products have also experienced some price erosion but not to the extent that the smaller sizes have seen recently.

Our Kingston A400 120 GB SSD has fallen below $20 average selling price. The A400 240 GB has fallen to below $40 leaving only the A400 480 GB to hold any price at all. Given the very afford able prices, almost all laptops have been retrofitted with them.

Some lower cost laptops still come with a 1 TB hard disk mostly as the capacity is more desirable than the SSD which is more costly at that capacity point. Some low cost machines have smaller 32GB and 64GB SSD drives but Windows 10 is a problem with such small capacity products. Windows 10 is best on a 120 GB or larger SSD so that adequate free space is available for the semiannual updates which can use upwards of 10 GB when they are installed.

M.2 SSD prices are also much lower and with a growing installed base of new motherboard the market will grow slowly for the M.2 format. 2 TB SSD drives make for a good system drive along with enough room for several contemporary games. The new Samsung 970 M.2 SSD products are very fast.