A new SSD product category has started to emerge over the last year. Businesses, large and smaller, are ready to load SSDs in company desktops and notebooks. Increasing performance is only a small reason why businesses are ready to take the plunge. Other features such as high reliability, hardware based encryption for security, and low cost of ownership help steer system administrators down the road to solid state storage.
For years, we've drilled readers about the benefits of solid state drives and that message isn't letting up. Although the technology got off to a rocky start, SSDs are now more reliable than mechanical disk drives. The numbers can be skewed, but on average, a well-designed SSD is between four and five more reliable than a HDD. Intel is one of the few companies confident enough to publish return rates and according to some etailers, Intel has the lowest return rate in the industry.
TweakTown covers several data breaches each week. Many of the high profile breaches come from misplaced or stolen notebooks filled with thousands of people's personal details, like social security or credit card numbers. Hardware-based encryption, managed by a system administrator, could put an end to our popular news stories. It's estimated that one lost or stolen notebook causes, on average, $50,000 in loss.
Intel's SSD Pro series started with the 1500 Series nearly a year ago, but the product was only for large OEM builders. The new Intel SSD Pro 2500 brings the same professional features to the channel market, where system integrators and system administrators can take advantage of Intel's advanced security features.
Specifications, Features and Availability
Today, Intel releases the Pro 2500 Series in two form factors - M.2 and 2.5". The M.2 models ship in 180GB, 240GB and 360GB capacity sizes. The 2.5" models consist of 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB models and finally a large 480GB model.
From a performance standpoint, the M.2 (SATA based) and 2.5" share nearly identical specifications. Random read performance is a bit faster on the 2.5" models, 48K IOPS, up from 45K IOPS. The random writes are the same 80K IOPS and the sequential read (540 MB/s) and sequential write (490 MB/s) are the same on both form factors.
The Intel Pro 2500 is a full package that goes far beyond just an SSD in a box. The Pro Series includes tools for performance, flash management, and security / encryption management. The Pro 2500 is also part of Intel's SIPP (Stable Image Platform Program), so system administrators get a stable release without firmware changes for 18 months.
Adding to the package is Intel's Solid-State Pro Administrator Tool, available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. Intel just updated the software to version 1.1.0 for the Pro 2500 release. The Pro 2500 also works with third party management software from Dell, McAfee, Winmagic, Sophos, Absolute Software Microsoft (eDrive) and Wave.
System administrators can even use the new software plugin for SCS 9.x for remote SSD health monitoring. Intel also released a new Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Tool. The Intel SSD Pro 2500 should hit channel markets this week.