Gartner predicts that by 2017, SSD prices will fall 35 percent, but the reliability of the flash will also decline nearly 30 percent. The economy of scale for MLC has kicked in, and the continued use of MLC as it shrinks will provide a lower price point and increased density. This reduction in NAND reliability requires new approaches to combat increasing error rates and lower P/E ratios. Guardian Technology, developed by SMART and now integrated into SanDisk's portfolio, provides a significant advantage as the NAND lithography shrinks.
Maintaining high performance while increasing reliability can be a precarious balancing act. The CloudSpeed 1000E performed well in our testing, outperforming the competing SSDs and improving over the CloudSpeed 500 in several key metrics. One of the key performance improvements revolved around performance consistency. We noted a considerable increase in consistency, creating a tight performance envelope in write-heavy workloads. This consistency translates well to application performance and boosts performance in RAID environments.
The read speed of the CloudSpeed 1000E also increased, and in some workloads approached the SM843, which has long held the top spot in read performance in the value segment. Another impressive aspect was the power efficiency of the 1000E - it outperformed the other SSDs in the majority of our IOPS-to-Watts tests.
With the CloudSpeed 1000E featuring predictable performance and solid performance results, our attention turns to the endurance. Endurance should always be a driving factor behind any SSD purchasing decision. Small differences in price can equate to large differences in performance and endurance, and for those that wade into the value market, it is important to take a number of factors into consideration. From the chart above, we can see the massive increase in endurance from the CloudSpeed 500 to the 1000 Series. This big increase in endurance, while simultaneously shrinking the NAND, is nothing short of phenomenal.
In comparison to the SSDs from the competition, the CloudSpeed series offers from three to 13 times the endurance of similar capacity SSDs. While incrementally higher up-front purchasing costs can dissuade some from choosing SSDs with higher endurance, the increased endurance pays off over the service life of the unit.
The CloudSpeed also has an impressive 10E18 UBER, and includes the power capacitors and extended five-year warranty. Wrapping these features into a svelte 7mm 2.5" form factor with speeds of 450 / 350 MB/s sequential read/write and 80/20K read/write IOPS for the 1000, and 80/25K IOPS for the 1000E, creates an SSD that delivers well in performance, endurance and reliability.