Memblaze for a last few years has quietly shipped some of the fastest enterprise SSDs available. The company's technology and proprietary firmware spreads across the industry. You can even find it in Micron's flagship NVMe datacenter SSDs like the recently released 9300 Series.
The Memblaze PBlaze5 D916, the first of two models in the series we will test today, is nearly identical to the Micron 9300 Series. The D916 uses slightly more overprovisioning on the Micron 64-layer TLC flash than the 9300 Max and slightly different firmware. Also like the 9300 Max, the PBlaze5 D916 only ships in a 2.5" form factor with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.
The Memblaze PBlaze C916 moves to the HHHL add-in card form factor to accommodate a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface that doubles throughput performance to the controller over the 2.5" model. The C916 is the highest performing enterprise SSD we've ever had in house for testing.
Memblaze products sit in a niche area of the SSD market where datacenter customers go directly to the company and place large orders, work directly with the company on validation and use the direct access for custom configurations.
The generic specifications sheet shows the potential of the 916 series. This series spreads across four product SKUs with two capacities and two form factors. The first is the ultra-high performance C916 available in 3.2TB and 6.4TB with a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface in a HHHL form factor.
The second model in this series ships in the same 3.2TB and 6.4TB capacities but uses the 2.5" U.2 15mm z-height form factor and a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.
- Higher Density and Lower Cost with 64-Layer 3D NAND
- 30%-40% Energy Efficiency Optimization
- Guaranteed Data Reliability
- Flexible and Accurate Power Consumption
- Up to 8TB/s Enterprise TRIM Function
- Up to 32 Multi-Namespace Creation
- High-Availability Dual Port Mode
Some of the items on the feature's list come from a comparison to the previous generation that used more flash and over-provisioning to achieve design goals (performance and capacity). The previous generation utilized Micron's 32-layer TLC, the company's first generation 3D memory.
The generation we're testing today uses 64-layer 3D TLC memory. Memblaze was able to utilize less physical memory (lowering the spare area) to meet the same design goals. Fewer NAND die also lowers the upfront cost to datacenters while also lowering the operational costs due to lower power consumption.
The PBlaze5 916 Series uses a single large capacitor to combat host power failures. The feature joins end-to-end data protection, up to 32 namespace support, and the ability to run the series in dual-port mode.
Pricing, Warranty, and Endurance
SSD pricing is dynamic, and small shifts in the raw flash market make large swings in large capacity products like those offered by Memblaze. The company doesn't publish pricing details, and these products don't show up at the usual places like Amazon, Newegg, and CDW. You must contact Memblaze directly for pricing details.
All 916 Series products carry a 3 drive per day endurance rating and a strong 5-year warranty.
A Closer Look