Intel is expanding its NVMe PCIe portfolio yet again with the launch of the Data Center P3608 SSD, Intel's first Gen 3 x8 lane NVMe PCIe SSD. The DC P3608 is two NVMe SSD's in one. The drive can be RAIDed into one super high-performance NVMe volume, or used as two separate high-performance NVMe SSDs. That gives it the advantage of occupying a single PCIe slot and the ability to simultaneously transfer data independently of one another.
Intel is aiming its newest SSD at meeting the need for high-performance storage in today's datacenter. The DC P3608 leverages the power of NVMe over the PCIe interface to deliver ultra-low latencies, by moving data closer to the CPU and reducing CPU overhead with a streamlined command stack. The DC P3608 is about more than just a new level of performance; it's also about higher capacity. The DC P3608 is available with twice the maximum capacity of Intel's previous NVMe datacenter SSDs. To make upgrading easy, the DC P3608 Series SSDs can be deployed right out of the box because the drive uses industry standard form factors and works with industry standard NVMe software and drivers.
Sporting an endurance rating of three drive writes per day for five years, the DC P3608 is a perfect drop in solution for high performance mixed workload environments. The DC P3608 is available in three capacities: 1.6TB, 3.2TB, and 4TB with endurance ratings of 8.76, 17.52, and 21.90 Petabytes Written (PBW). The 1.6TB model we are testing today delivers the best random performance of the three capacity points. The 3.2TB model, the best-mixed performance, and the 4TB model the highest density and bandwidth. The main performance differentiator between the three capacities is the amount of overprovisioning employed.
The DC P3608 is Intel's first NVMe SSD with dual controller architecture. A single DC P3608 can simultaneously process commands with separate queues, dynamically distributing IO evenly over multi-core Xeon processors. The DC P3608 can also be aggregated into a single ultra-high performance RAID 0 volume via Intel's enterprise Rapid Storage Technology (RSTe) 4.3 for NVMe virtualized controller technology. This new RSTe driver has us excited because it should deliver far better performance than creating a RAID volume with MS software RAID or Windows Server Storage Spaces.
Intel states the DC P3608 is in production now and shipping to customers in high volume.
The first thing that jumps out at us is the DC P3608's incredible sequential read speed of 5000 MB/s, the highest sequential read speed for any SSD we've reviewed. Next is the drive's 850,000 IOPS 4K random read performance, which is again the highest for any SSD we've reviewed to date. All three capacities deliver this incredible read performance. As mentioned, the 1.6TB model we have on the bench today delivers the best random write performance of the three capacity points, delivering up to 150,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The DC P3608 employs Intel's High Endurance Technology (HET) NAND Flash. HET NAND Flash coupled with an advanced LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) ECC engine enables up to 21.9 PB of endurance.
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