Samsung Unveils ‘Green’ SSDs

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Samsung Electronics has introduced its latest solid state drive (SSD), a 100GB “green” hard drive that promises to cut energy costs by 75 percent over typical hard disk drives.

The SSD product, announced during this week’s Storage Visions Conference in Las Vegas, is aimed at heavy content delivery environments such as streaming media, video on demand and financial transaction processing applications.

Samsung said greater demand for better reliability and performance is spurring more SSD use. The latest product expands the vendor’s already robust SSD portfolio. Samsung offers SSDs with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB for notebook PCs, and 25GB, 50GB and 100GB SSDs for the enterprise.

“Users are recognizing the benefits in terms of much greater reliability, durability and performance, as well as they’re needing much less power,” said Brian Beard, Samsung’s SSD product manager. “As SSDs have no moving parts they generate virtually no heat, making them much more attractive in the data center environment where cooling costs run very high.”

The news comes as SSD technology, once thought to be too expensive for the traditional business enterprise, hits the mainstream as enterprises search for faster storage processing systems for their most vital applications.

SSD flash technology can cost as much as 30 times more than Fibre Channel drives on a per-gigabyte basis, but the cost has been decreasing 50 to 70 percent each year. High-end HDDs run about $4 to $5 per gigabyte and SSDs are now about $50 to $60 per gigabyte.

That’s a price point at which more enterprises are willing to pay for SSD’s faster response time over hard drives — nearly 10 times greater — when it comes to intensive applications and transaction processing requirements.

EMC was the first to push the technology into the enterprise business environment when it plugged SSDs in its high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage systems last January. Others such as Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) followed EMC’s lead, as did storage startups such as Violin Memory.

Samsung said its SSD product is an efficient alternative to traditional 15K RPM HDDs, as it can process IOPS (input/output per second) more than 10 times faster than a hard disk.

The vendor attributes the performance level to a proprietary 8-channel controller, improved NAND flash and special drive firmware developed in house.

The SSD’s ‘green’ aspect came about in response to demands for cheaper operational costs, said Beard, who said the average data center consumes energy equivalent to 25,000 households and that total energy consumption in data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006 worldwide.

“It’s clear that the energy consumption of the data center needs to be addressed, particularly in large and medium-sized enterprises,” Beard said. SSDs are a viable option, he explained, as they can expand data center performance and capacity without expanding data centers, and that keeps energy costs down.

The SSD, according to Samsung, uses 1.9 watts of power in active mode and 0.6 in idle, compared to HDDs that need about 8 to 15 watts in active and one to two watts when in idle mode.

Samsung said pricing information for the SSD product will be available later this quarter.

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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