The right SSD for your enterprise data center

Tony Hollingsbee, SSD Business manager in Kingston Technology EMEA highlights the considerations one has to make before choosing the right SSD, and how users can make better informed choices about the correct SSDs for their applications including the performance, price, endurance, capacity etc.

Tony Hollingsbee, SSD Business manager in Kingston Technology EMEA

In today’s information age, a huge amount of data is being churned out every second of every day. According to a report by IDC, 175 zettabytes of data will be created by 2025 from just 33 zettabytes in 2018. With this expected tremendous surge, many chief information officers (CIOs) have been upgrading and modernizing their existing data center infrastructure to increase the capacity and enhance the performance of their systems while keeping their data safe and secure.

Recognizing the significant growth trend, numerous enterprises have been turning to Solid-State Drives (SSDs) not only to increase their capacity to handle the current and expected deluge of information but also to achieve high data throughput and low transaction latency. SSD as a data storage solution has gained traction over the years, being improved continuously to deliver additional value and benefits, which include enhanced, efficient, and reliable performance as well as reduced overall operating expenses (OpEx).

It must, however, be pointed out that SSDs, while they are easily deployable, are not a one-size-fits-all solution. This means that choosing the right storage device is critical to fully optimizing and enjoying the benefits it offers. For instance, if an SSD device is not designed to handle excessive writes, premature replacement may have to be done eventually, forcing an organization to either replace or add further storage to its data center earlier than expected. Failing to get value for its money, an enterprise, as a result, will have to shell out more funds than what is perhaps initially intended.

Like everything else, making a precise purchasing decision should be done with great care. Better and more informed choices guarantee a good return on investment, and knowing what features to look for vis-à-vis your specific, unique needs is a step in the right direction.

While there are a host of benefits and elements to be factored in, say the demands of data center workloads and applications, high performance with top endurance level, quality, and reliability should be among your non-negotiables, whether you are planning on buying consumer-grade drives, workstation-grade SSDs, or client and enterprise SSDs.

Performance, in particular, varies depending on the different levels of SSDs. On a standard client device, which is normally used for only eight to 10 hours daily, you typically just require a responsive system and a quick boot time. In such a case, you may consider purchasing PCIe NVMe-based SSD as opposed to the SATA-based drive.

On the other hand, for enterprise data centers, which run 24/7 the whole year, the demand for robust performance and long endurance is much higher. Reliability and consistency for the full lifetime of the warranty should be guaranteed for strong data protection. SSDs, in this case, should possess the right flash chips, controllers, and other components that can effectively handle the heavy data center workloads for longer periods, coupled with lower latency – which improves user productivity – better accessibility level, and faster response time.

This makes enterprise-class SSDs perfect for such a load that requires support for write- and read-heavy activities. Compared to 240GB client SSD, 2TB enterprise-class SSD has an average capacity of almost eight times larger than the former. This enables the device to deliver premium and sustained steady-state performance beginning from the first few seconds of access. With this form of support, an organization can expect to meet its Quality of Service (QoS) requirements during peak traffic loads.

End-to-end data protection capabilities are critical features of an enterprise SSD as well because they help assure data integrity. Some of these capabilities are the recovery of corrupted blocks of data, redundant data block recovery, Error Correction Code (ECC), and physical circuitry for power loss detection.

Besides low latency, QoS, endurance, and data integrity, IOP consistency, which guarantees no huge variation in performance over time, is also a significant metric to look for when choosing the right enterprise SSD.

To check the longevity and the reliability factors, meantime, the industry benchmark on enterprise-class SSD specifically is at least one million hours Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). Equivalent to at least 114 years, this starting point is considered more than sufficient for enterprise SSDs.

A mission-critical enterprise environment requires a reduced risk of disruptive downtime. As such, devices that can help set-up such an environment for your applications are vital. SSDs contribute towards this end but, ultimately, it starts with investing in a technology that is just right for and appropriate to your needs.

In many cases, making the right investment entails tapping the service of an information technology (IT) expert. Kingston Technology has been assisting enterprises in finding memory and storage products, including SSDs, that are right for their environment.

With 30 years of industry-leading configuration expertise, Kingston has been helping businesses become more efficient, achieve their goals, or adapt to market changes. It provides free advice and support service designed to take the complexity out of server configuration. By doing so, Kingston’s Ask An Expert service is making sure that the companies’ IT infrastructure is doing a lot more for them than what they are used to under their existing set-up and one can reach Kingston for clarifications at

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