Dell offers different Solid State Drive solutions to meet different customer needs. Enterprise Solid State Drives (SSD) as a class are unique to Client or Consumer based SSD in terms of reliability, performance, and architecture. While consumer based SSD, such as those utilized in Notebooks are designed with a focus on consumer based workloads, rigidity and battery life, Enterprise Class SSD are designed around Enterprise application IO requirements with the primary attribute focus being on random IO performance and reliability.
Dell Enterprise Solid State Drive Attributes
Understanding the basics of enterprise class solid state drives allow customers to measure apples-to-apples when comparing solutions.
SLC vs MLC: SLC stands for Single Level Cell and references the number of information bits that can be stored in each cell of flash memory. For SLC this is one bit per cell. MLC stands for Multi Level Cell and can store multiple bits of information per cell. SLC based Flash has a write endurance capability roughly 10X of what MLC Flash is capable of. Today, Dell PowerEdge, EqualLogic, and Dell-EMC SSD solutions utilize SLC based flash.
Over Provisioning: The Achilles heel of SSD are their write performance. To re-write an area of an SSD that has already been written, the data must be erased and then written. In order to overcome a portion of the write performance penalty, Dell enterprise SSD found across Dell PowerEdge, EqualLogic and Dell-EMC all employ a practice known as over provisioning of flash. This practice keeps native flash capacity beyond the user defined capacity and utilizes the additional space as a scratch-pad of sorts to quickly put down application write data on areas of flash that are already in an erased state. The SSD perform cleanup functions of this over provisioned flash space during time periods typically not impacting application performance.
SSD Solutions throughout Dell's Enterprise
Dell Blade Server: SATA Repeater + SSD without Hardware RAID support: This solution is targeted at transactional applications where the SSD is utilized as a method of increasing system performance over HDD’s by providing a higher-speed, lower power alternative for applications use as swap space, indexing, or other transactional data. This SSD solution also offers a low-power boot drive option for Blades.
Dell Blade Server: Modular PERCi RAID Controller + SSD with Hardware RAID support: Available in both 1/2 height and full height Blade servers, this PERC enabled Blade SSD solution is targeted primarily as tier-0 storage for application environments accessing randomly stored data where the time-to-data is a must.
Dell 11G Rack & Tower Servers: PERCi RAID Controller + SSD with Hardware RAID support: Dell's 11G Rack and Tower Servers provide for a true multi-tiered storage environment. The ability to create and manage multiple RAID sets on a single server allows customers to define how they allocate high-speed SSD storage versus slower, but more dollar-per-gigabyte friendly traditional SAS or SATA rotating media based Hard Drives.
Dell EqualLogic Storage Arrays: SSD’s Enabled Acceleration: Dell EqualLogic PS6000 series Storage Arrays offer ultra-fast SSD solutions aimed at High IO applications such as Virtualization and Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) applications resulting in up to 75% improvement in transaction throughput and up to a 60% improvement in response times.
Dell's Solid State Drive Solution Portfolio Empowers Customers to Pick The Performance and Cost Solution Best Suited for Their Enterprise .