Micron's Massive Capacity 8TB 5100 Series Enterprise Solid State Drive Can Save Datacenters Big Bucks

Micron 5100 SSD

Micron, the memory maker based out of Boise, Idaho, is introducing a new solid state drive family for enterprise clients that combines the typical fast performance SSDs are known for with atypical capacities culminating in 8 terabytes. The new Micron 5100 Series Enterprise SSDs are purportedly reliable too, delivering the storage trifecta that could have persuaded clients to kick their datacenter's hard disk drives to the curb.

Micron 5100 Eco SSD TCO Chart
Source: Micron

That is precisely the angle Micron is taking here. Looking at the total cost of ownership (TCO), Micron compared its 5100 Eco drives with 10,000 RPM hard drives to give an example of the kind of savings clients can achieve. In a typical 10K HDD deployment that spans 10 chassis and 240 HDDs, replacing them with just a single chassis of 22 5100 Eco SSDs results in the same capacity, 20X better performance, and about $100,000 cost reduction over the course of five years.

Micron's new series SSDs are broken down into three product lines. They consist of the following:
  • Micron 5100 ECO: Cloud services focused, optimized for content sharing (video and media streaming). Performance and endurance characteristics for consistent data throughput and fast information delivery.
  • Micron 5100 PRO: A true workhorse. Excels in consistent performance delivery for latency-sensitive applications. Enhances your bottom line through better response times (e.g., databases powering e-commerce, trading transactions, etc.)
  • Micron 5100 MAX: Meet un-forecasted demand of today’s mission-critical data center. Agility and flexibility to respond easily and effectively.
While these target different applications, they all share some common benefits. Better TCO is one of them. So is better quality of service (QoS), which Micron says is improved up to 99 percent over spinning media, along with high capacity options and fast performance.

These vary by product family. The 5100 Eco is offered in capacities of 480GB to 8TB with read and write performance rated at up to 93,000 IOPS and 31,000 IOPS, respectively. These are best used in cloud services that support content sharing traffic and archive applications where sensitive information isn't being overwritten, only appended.

The 5100 Pro SSDs come in 240GB to 4TB capacities and offer the same read performance, but a little faster writes at 43,000 IOPS. These drives are meant to offer a mix of performance, endurance, and capacity, negating the need for customers to choose between read optimized or write focused SSDs.

Finally there's the potent 5100 Max line. It's available in 240GB to 2TB capacities and focuses on performance with read and write metrics rated at up to 93,000 IOPS and 74,000 IOPs, respectively. Micron says these are best for data intensive, high-volume applications.

Micron SSDs

All three use 3D NAND flash memory chips and Micron's new FlexPro firmware architecture that allows IT admins to change the characteristics of a drive.

"One feature of FlexPro is what we are calling FlexCapacity. FlexCapacity allows our users to dial in the performance, endurance and capacity of our SSDs. It means you can take a 960GB drive and set it as an 800GB SSD, or any other capacity you wish. In turn, you will get performance and endurance benefits that allow you to dial in the characteristics of the SSD to meet your needs," Micron says. "It also means that you can simplify your qualification process, by qualifying a single SKU and then adjusting it to your needs, as the firmware and hardware stay the same."

Micron didn't say when its new drives will be available or for how much.