Power consumption is defining the shape of today's datacenters. We have all heard the stories of mega-datacenters that badly need to expand, but cannot due to power limitations at their location.
New datacenters aim for increased efficiency with an almost fanatical obsession. Every new datacenter design is weighed by its Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating. A PUE rating of 2.0 consists of a doubling of every watt of power used for computing in order to cool and power the equipment. A rating of 1.0 means that nearly all energy consumed is specifically for computing purposes. According to the Uptime Data Center Survey, the global PUE average is between 1.8 and 1.89.
This inefficiency is a multi-billion dollar a year problem. Delivering on lower power usage goals requires new technologies that are radically more power efficient than older approaches. Some new datacenter designs sport a 1.05-1.1 PUE rating. Measuring the power efficiency of a storage solution is not always clear-cut, the math behind the power saving benefits of SSD's can be complicated when factoring in lower cooling costs and less downtime, among other factors.
The easiest power savings to quantify come in the form of IOPS per Watt metrics. More work produced by the storage device per watt equates to lower overall power consumption for the datacenter. Seagate has leveraged their deep understanding of OEM storage solutions and power efficiency to shape their new line of enterprise SSD products.
To the uninitiated, it may seem counterintuitive that in some cases a slightly slower but more efficient drive will win the race. Much like the tortoise and hare, running out ahead does not always win.
One of the key selling points of the Seagate 600 Pro is its efficiency, and this shone through in our testing. The Seagate 600 Pro won five of our eight power efficiency tests, and some by large margins. The promise of 10,000 IOPS per Watt in some workloads was proven correct in our testing. We had multiple workloads fall either just under, or over, this goal. This is due in part to the adaptive power management algorithms embedded in the firmware of the SSD.
The Seagate 600 Pro also brought speed along as well, and handled very well in our mixed read/write workloads. Many times an SSD will have a great score in a pure read or write test, but the real workloads lie somewhere in the middle with a mixture of read and write activity.
In many cases client SSD's tend to compete with the value-centric enterprise SSD offerings, but suffer a tremendous loss of speed in mixed read/write testing. The 600 Pro performed admirably with the random mixed workloads, but exhibited some variability in the 128K sequential mixed testing. This should be curable with further firmware refinement.
The addition of host power-loss protection functionality with the embedded array of tantalum capacitors is another great feature of the Seagate 600 Pro that provides an extra level of protection for user data.
For an entry-level SSD, the Seagate 600 Pro delivers big on features that will have a tangible impact on long-term TCO. Focusing on power consumption rounds out the features and boosts this SSD over other solutions. The five year warranty provides assurance from a manufacturer with deep storage roots that date back to 1979, making it easy to give the Seagate 600 Pro the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.
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