The maturation of enterprise SSDs has led to further refinement of the product stack. When enterprise SSDs began to gather steam a few years ago, nearly every product was tailored for the high endurance, write-intensive segment. The formula was simple; the high price of enterprise SSDs dictated that their destination was always high-end applications. These SSDs typically featured SAS connections, and SLC NAND, as a rule.
The expansion of enterprise SATA SSDs brought along eMLC NAND, and then finally, the widespread adoption of typical MLC NAND resulted in crashing prices for SSDs. A whole ecosystem of SATA SSD's began to crop up with an SSD truly for every usage case, from read-oriented, to mid-tier and high endurance. However, the SAS segment remained largely focused on expensive, high endurance flagship-class SSDs.
The release of the SanDisk Optimus Eco brings a lower-cost alternative into the SAS stable. The high performance expected of a SAS SSD remains in place, while the write endurance of the SSD is lower than preceding products. This provides a value-oriented SAS SSD that bucks the typical high-priced SAS trend.
The Optimus family consists of two models. The Optimus is an award winning SAS SSD designed for heavy read/write workloads, and fulfills the role of the workhorse for bleeding-edge applications. The Eco steps in and provides a mid-tier solution, with High Availability features and SAS functionality. The CloudSpeed 1000 and 1000E fulfill the role of SATA-class SSDs employed for mainstream use.
The Optimus Eco is designed for read-centric workloads, yet still features impressive random read/write speeds of 90,000/35,000, blistering sequential read/write speeds of 500/500 MB/s in normal operation, and up to 1Gb/s in wideport mode. The Eco moves to 19nm NAND produced by the SanDisk/Toshiba Flash Forward joint venture. The Guardian Technology platform delivers an endurance rating of three random Drive Writes per Day (DWPD), and seven DWPD for sequential workloads.
The Eco features capacities of 400 GB and 800 GB, in a 2.5" 9.5mm form factor. This limited capacity range on the low-end denotes a focus on high capacity for the Eco series, but it does not stop there. The Eco is also available in a 15mm chassis, with massive capacities of 1.6 and 2.0TB. This high-density trumps any performance 2.5" HDD on the market, and secures a spot for the Eco in dense applications that require high performance, significant endurance, and affordability.
While the Eco sports focus on capacity and affordability, it doesn't skimp on enterprise-class features. Power capacitors provide resilience to power loss, onboard data duplicity guards against data loss, dual port SAS provides enhanced functionality, TCG Enterprise Compliance, AES 256-bit encryption nails down security, and an amazing MTBF of 2.5 million hours provides a high level of reliability. The Eco is also backed by a five-year warranty.
There is no doubt in the performance of the original SAS Optimus; it still leads our charts as the fastest 6Gb/s SSD available on the market. The Eco has much of the same design and architecture of the original Optimus, so all of the pieces are in place for a more affordable high-end SSD.