Samsung Goes Green With New SSD
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Samsung Electronics has introduced its latest solid state disk (SSD) offering a 100GB "green" hard drive that promises to cut energy costs by 75 percent over typical hard disk drives.
The SSD product, announced during this week's Storage Visions Conference being held in Las Vegas, is aimed at heavy content delivery environments such as streaming media, video on demand and financial transaction processing applications.
Samsung said greater demand for better reliability and performance is spurring more SSD use. The latest product expands the vendor's already robust SSD portfolio. Samsung offers SSDs with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB for notebook PCs and 25GB, 50GB and 100GB SSDs for the enterprise.
"Users are recognizing the benefits in terms of much greater reliability, durability and performance, as well as they're needing much less power," Brian Beard, SSD product manager, told InternetNews.com. "As SSDs have no moving parts they generate virtually no heat, making them much more attractive in the datacenter environment where cooling costs run very high," Beard said.
The news comes as SSD technology, once thought to be too expensive for the traditional business enterprise, hits the mainstream just as enterprises search for faster storage processing systems at a cheaper price, given tighter budgets and bigger data piles to store.
SSD flash technology can cost as much as 30 times more than Fibre Channel drives on a per-gigabyte basis, but the cost has been decreasing 50 to 70 percent each year. High-end HDDs run about $4 to $5 per gigabyte and SSDs are now about $50 to $60 per gigabyte.
That's a price point more enterprises are willing to pay for SSD's faster response time over hard drives -- nearly 10 times greater -- when it comes to intensive applications and transaction processing requirements.
EMC was the first to push the technology into the enterprise business environment when it plugged SSDs in its high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage systems last January. Competitors including Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Seagate (NYSE: STX) quickly followed its lead, as did storage startups such as Violin Memory.
Samsung said its SSD product is an efficient alternative to traditional 15K RPM HDDs as it can process IOPS (input/output per second) more than 10 times faster than a hard disk.
The vendor attributes the performance level to a proprietary 8-channel controller, improved NAND flash and special drive firmware developed in house.
The SSD's 'green' aspect came about in response to demands for cheaper operational costs, said Beard, who said the average data center consumes energy equivalent to 25,000 households and that total energy consumption in data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006 worldwide.
"Its clear that the energy consumption of the data center needs to be addressed, particularly in large and medium-sized enterprises," Beard said. SSDs are a viable option, he explained, as they can expand data center performance and capacity without expanding data centers and that keeps energy costs down.
The SSD, according to Samsung, uses 1.9 watts of power in active mode and 0.6 in idle compared to HDDs that need about 8 to 15 watts in active and one to two watts when in idle mode.
At press time, Samsung could not provide pricing information for the SSD product but said it will be available later this quarter.