There is a surprising amount of potential in the venerable Toshiba when we look at the overall enterprise storage market. Toshiba created NAND, giving them the most experience with NAND flash products. The position of their storage division as a piece of a much larger engineering and electronics conglomerate is also a considerable strength. A diversified portfolio always helps smooth out market fluctuations and intense competitions.
The datacenter continues to change with the disruptive explosion of flash into high performance slots, but Toshiba also has another advantage in their HDD experience. HDDs and flash products will live a complementary existence for many more years to come. Toshiba's flash and hard drive production gives them a real advantage over larger HDD manufacturers who source their NAND from outside suppliers. Toshiba is the only HDD manufacturer with the advantage of an in-house NAND supply, while others scramble for NAND supplier agreements. As the shift continues, this additional path for growth could allow Toshiba to broaden their penetration into the datacenter.
Pairing all of these advantages with a clear strategy moving forward is the key, and Toshiba recently announced the goal of expanding their HDD market share to 20% and SSDs up to 30% by 2016. These lofty goals are realistic and attainable; Toshiba recently accomplished a 70.5% quarter over quarter jump in CQ2 2014.
The HK3R is a good example of a springboard product that gives Toshiba access to a growing market. The read-intensive HK3R is geared for low-duty applications such as boot volumes, read-caching, error-logging, content delivery networks, VOD, and media streaming.
The Toshiba HK3R THNSNJ480PCS3 comes in capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB, in the familiar 2.5" form factor. The HK3R utilizes the Toshiba TC358790XBG controller, and features random speeds of 85,000/12,000 4k read/write. The random read speed is on par with the 845DC EVO, and beats the M500DC and the DC S3500. The random write speed is also acceptable, though the M500DC leads the pack in that respect. The HK3R provides a 500 MiB/s sequential read rate, but a notably slower 270 MiB/s sequential write speed (measured with 64KiB). In our testing, the HK3R performs within a much higher performance envelope with 128k sequential data.
One of the advantages of using an enterprise-class SSD is the inclusion of power loss protection. The use of client SSDs in the datacenter is declining as the fabs have moved into the read-intensive space, and nearly all of the SSDs in this segment now offer power loss protection at competitive price points. The enterprise SSDs in this segment also offer enterprise-centric firmware that offers end-to-end data protection for enhanced data protection.
One of the differentiators for Toshiba is their Quadruple Swing By Code (QSBC) ECC error correction technology. This allows them to provide a UBER rating of one per 10E17, matching Samsung and Intel offerings, and beating Micron's one per 10E15. The HK3R offers up to one DWPD (Drive Write per Day) of endurance, which outstrips the Samsung 840DC EVO and Intel DC S3500, but falls behind the Micron M500DC. The difference in the UBER ratings might be another differentiator for those looking at higher endurance SSDs for read-centric applications.
The growing read-centric SSD market has attracted the NAND fabs, making it nearly impossible for any competitors without NAND fabrication capability to compete. This intense competition for slots creates great value for customers, so let's take a closer look at the Toshiba HK3R.
PRICING: You can find the Toshiba HK3R (THNSNJ480PCS3) 480GB Enterprise SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Toshiba HK3R (THNSNJ480PCS3) 480GB Enterprise SSD retails for $623.14 at Amazon.