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Micron SSD Addresses Latency QoS

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Improved performance, lower latency, and higher capacity are table stakes in a new solid-state drive (SSD), but Micron Technology’s latest enterprise offering also emphasizes consistency of performance.

Micron’s 7450 SSD
Micron 7450 SSD (Source: Micron)

Micron’s 7450 SSD with NVMe and PCIe Gen4 is the first enterprise SSD to use its vertically integrated 176-layer NAND and aims to deliver quality-of-service (QoS) latency at or below 2 milliseconds (ms), said Alvaro Toledo, vice president and general manager of data center storage at Micron. That’s on top of offering a wide capacity range and form factor options. The SSD is also being launched at a time when PCIe Gen4 is becoming the most widely adopted SSD interface in servers.

Toledo said consistent, reliable latencies are a critical metric for customers selecting SSDs for data center workloads, where quality of service (QoS) in a scale-out environment is especially important, not just for hyperscalers, but also traditional enterprise data centers running databases. Both must deliver on service level agreements (SLAs) made with their customers. “We paid special attention to the latency.”

Micron claims the 7450 SSD achieves latency at or below 2 ms for 99.9999% QoS in common, mixed, random workloads, which drives up performance in popular databases, including Oracle, MySQL, RocksDB, and Microsoft SQL Server. “All databases are multi-threaded,” said Toledo, and that means multiple queues go out and are waiting for the slowest operation before results can be deliver.

“That’s where this consistent latency makes huge differences for the user,” he said. Other workloads that require consistent latency include real-time analytics, artificial intelligence, and content streaming, he said.

Alvaro Toledo, Micron’s VP/GM of data center storage
Alvaro Toledo (Source: Micron)

Aside from handling a variety of workloads with low latency, Micron’s 7450 SSD offers flexibility thanks to what the company claims is the broadest set of form factors available to meet evolving space, power, and thermal needs, including U.3, M.2 and E1.S. There’s also a diverse mix of capacities ranging from 400 GB to 15.36 TB, including 8 TB in the compact E1.S form factor, said Toledo, which reflects the needs of the massive deployments being made by the hyperscalers.

In the meantime, the PCIe Gen4 market is just getting going. “We believe the 7450 is very well timed for that,” he said.

Micron is only the company offering a PCIe Gen4 U.3 SSD in both 15-mm and 7-mm thicknesses, which provides flexibility for platforms that require 2.5-inch NVMe drives, said Toledo. The 7450 is also available as a PCIe Gen4 M.2 22 × 80-mm SSD, designed primarily for server boot use, which supports power loss protection.

Among its other features, Micron’s 7450 SSD includes self-encrypting drive functionality, as well as the company’s Micron’s Secure Execution Environment (SEE) for additional data protection by providing dedicated security processing hardware with physical isolation. The new SSD line also supports Open Compute Project (OCP) deployments for qualified environments.

Forward Insights SSD shipment forecast
Forward Insights predicts that PCIe Gen4 will become a larger part of part of the market in 2022. Click for a larger image. (Source: Micron)

Micron announced in late 2020 that its first 176-layer NAND was shipping in volume, touting its use of replacement gate (RG) technology. By eschewing floating gate in favor of a charge trap approach and combining it with its CMOS-under-array architecture, Micron said it has been able to significantly improve performance and density. Both read latency and write latency is also improved by more than 35% compared with the company’s previous generation of high-volume 3D NAND.

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