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Samsung 845DC EVO Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 28, 2014 4:27 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Samsung

Final Thoughts




One of the recurring themes from NAND fabs is the vertical-integration message, and for good reason. Samsung is a good example of a company that reaps the benefits from in-house production of every component. While Samsung is solidifying their position in 3bit NAND, they are also moving aggressively with their V-NAND (3D NAND) products that they began sampling a year ago. Their in-depth knowledge of their own NAND, DRAM, and controllers provides a benefit beyond component cost and profit margins. The ability to develop new components and rapidly adjust firmware is a benefit that grants them a time-to-market advantage.


Samsung addresses concerns about 3bit NAND longevity with a longer warranty period and clear communication of endurance metrics. Users should know their workload, and for those with read-centric applications, the 845DC EVO presents a compelling value offering. Deploying SSDs into various RAID configurations in production environments also distributes the write workload over several drives.


Samsung also provides RAID performance specifications in their documentation, and we included those measurements on the spec page in this article. These specifications highlight the scaling ability of the 845DC EVO in RAID environments. Much of the enhanced scaling is due to the enhanced QoS focus from Samsung. We are conducting tests to investigate the performance of several leading value-class SSDs in RAID configurations, so stay tuned for more information and direct comparisons.


In reality, a 3bit NAND SSD delivers more useable write endurance than an HDD can provide. While the platter of an HDD has a very high tolerance for heavy workloads, the mechanics of the moving parts conspire to hinder the speed, and thus the useable endurance of the drive. The 960GB 845 DC EVO provides 336GB of write endurance per day for five years. In our testing, the fastest 15k HDDs write at a speed of roughly 450 IOPS for 4k random write workloads. This equates to roughly 148GBs of data written per day.


The 845DC EVO provides 600TB of write endurance in five years, compared to the fastest of hard drives providing only 263TB. For users upgrading from HDDs to an 845DC EVO, the value proposition is clear: the Samsung provides faster performance at a competitive price per GB, along with the added benefit of more useable write endurance over the life of the drive.


Performance of the 845DC EVO was spectacular in heavy read workloads, and the other drives fell far behind. The EVO is designed for read-centric workloads and fell into an expected performance profile with write activity. The 845DC EVO managed to outpace the Intel DC S3500 in most tests, but the M500DC tended to deliver more robust write performance in random environments. The 845DC EVO dominated pure read/write sequential activity, but the M500DC is hard to beat in mixed sequential workloads. The EVO also delivered consistent performance in the OLTP workload, and fared well in our power testing.


At the time of publishing, the 845DC EVO is priced very aggressively at roughly $1/GB. With volume pricing, there will be excellent price points, especially when 3bit NAND products from other manufacturers hit the market and foster competition. For now, its price leads the market.


The evolution of flash has always been about driving more performance into the datacenter with a lower TCO. The 845DC EVO delivers on that vision by offering a customized data storage solution for read-centric applications. Value-focused offerings for these applications are important; it is never wise to spend money on an underutilized resource, such as endurance. The Samsung 845DC EVO offers datacenter-class features at a lower price point and a five-year warranty, earning the TweakTown Best Value Award.



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