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Micron RealSSD P400E Five Drive JBOD Enterprise Report - Base Product Specifications and Architecture

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 3:31 pm
Manufacturer: Micron

Base Product Specifications




The Micron RealSSD P400E series are available in capacities of 50, 100, 200 and 400GB. These are light use drives and likely to be deployed en masse in most configurations. Power draw of .95 idle and an active average power consumption of 2.5 Watts for the 50GB and up to 5 Watts for the 400GB, illustrate a big improvement in power consumption compared to enterprise HDDs.


The non-standard capacities are the result of using 28% overprovisioning. This helps to mitigate the lower performance of MLC and allows for multiplications of endurance for the user addressable NAND. A high percentage of overprovisioning is part of the equation that allows the P400E to endure up to 175TB of lifetime data writes.


Small volumes also avail themselves very well to caching solutions that these drives are intended for. Other intended uses are application loading, OS loading for enterprise servers, read caching, multi- threaded read workloads, embedded applications and industrial applications.


The P400E is designed for sustainable speed over a long period of use and is rated for 50,000 IOPS and 350MB/s sequential read, with write speeds of 7,000 IOPS and 150MB/s. These certainly aren't groundbreaking specifications, but are adequate for the applications that they are designed for. As with any enterprise storage solution, reliability and data security trump high performance.


The SSD communicates over the SATA 6Gb/s interface, which allows for easy integration into all current hardware configurations. The MTBF is 1.2 million hours.





Key enterprise features have been baked into the firmware and device architecture, such as Ucode, enterprise datapath protection and SMART attributes for health monitoring. Typically when observing the internals the untrained eye cannot spot the features that differentiate the P400E from a standard consumer grade M4.




The typical SSD architecture (illustrated above) consists of two "˜lanes' of travel through the device. Input and Output operations travel between a series of volatile SRAM, cache and buffer management components. More and more of these potential failure points have been introduced as the architecture and design of SSDs continues to advance.


Each of these points in the data traverse can subject the data to corruption and errors. In enterprise applications the validity and safety of this data is paramount, so the architecture of an enterprise-class SSD has to have features built in to combat these weak points.




The P400E utilizes expanded data path protection features that ensure the validity of the data as it travels through these possible failure points. User data is effectively "˜wrapped' in an envelope as it moves through these areas. Enhanced ECC and CRC parity algorithms within the firmware provide RAID-like redundancy. The SSDs generates parity before each potential failure point in the data traverse, then validates that parity after it passes through the component.


The data "˜at rest' is also guarded by a protection scheme with a RAID-like parity. Providing this level of data security without a huge loss in performance is an impressive achievement for this type of architecture.

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