Due to the high stress environment of data centers, the power-hungry spinning hard disk drives that hum, buzz, runs warm (or even hot), and would require fans and expensive cooling systems, and can crash unexpectedly, are quickly disappearing.
To answer to this demand, Intel is introducing a new breed of solid state drives, the PCIe-based QLC Intel SSD D5-P4326. It is about the size of an 12-inch ruler and can store 32 terabytes.
The new SSD is Intel’s densest drive ever, and is built on Intel 3D NAND technology, which stacks memory cells atop each other in multiple extremely thin layers, instead of just one. Memory cells in the D5-P4326 are stacked 64 layers deep.
Older disk drives produce a great deal of heat. In most data centers today, the single biggest cost is air conditioning to keep them cool. This is one of the reasons some of the world’s biggest data companies are planning to use the new “ruler” SSD to support their cloud and data center operations.
In data centers, the no-moving-parts ruler-shaped SSDs can be lined up 32 side-by-side, to hold up to a petabyte in a single server slot. Compared with a traditional SSD, the “ruler” requires half the airflow to keep cool. And compared with hard disk storage, the new QLC 3D NAND SSD sips one-tenth the power (when it is part of a 1PB solution) and requires just one-twentieth the space.
Implementing this form factor will also change how servers are designed, allowing their internals to be more slim and compact to benefit in areas such as improved spacing of the server’s hardware for proper airflow and cooling.