Size matters

Samsung PM1633a

Sometimes it’s the enterprise segment that gets access to the coolest new technology, and so it goes with Samsung’s new hugely capacious 15.36-terabyte solid state drive, the PM1633a.

It’s a rather boring name for what qualifies as the industry’s largest SSD. We’re sure enterprise buyers won’t hold that against Samsung because all that really matters here is all that storage space, which is packed in a 2.5-inch form factor chassis and outfitted with a 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface. What that means for Samsung’s customers is the ability to cram twice of many of these things in a standard 19-inch, 2U rack (compared to a 3.5-inch drive).

Samsung managed to stuff 15.36TB of storage into a single drive by combining 512 of its third-generation 256Gb V-NAND flash memory chips. These chips are stacked in 16 layers to form a single 512GB package, with a total of 32 NAND flash packages comprising the 15.36TB drive.

According to Samsung, it’s not just about increasing capacity, but customers should expect a performance bump over the drive’s predecessor as well. Specifically, Samsung rates the PM1533a SSD’s random read and write speeds at up to 200,00 and 32,000 IOPS, respectively, along with sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,200MB/s.

Performance is further aided by the inclusion of 16GB of DRAM, an advanced controller unit that supports the 12Gb/s SAS interface, and specially designed firmware that allows the drive to access large amounts of high-density NAND flash concurrently.

In terms of reliability, Samsung says its 15.36TB monster supports 1 DWPD, or drive write per day. It also boasts a metadata protection mechanism in addition to featuring a data protection and restoration software tool in case of a quick power outage.

If 15.36TB is too much, Samsung will also offer the PM1633a SSD line in 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB, and 480GB.later this year.

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