Samsung Ships World's Largest SSD, A 15.3TB Monster For The Enterprise

Solid State Storage continues to come down in cost and scale higher in speed and density. Though spinning hard disk media will likely have a place at least in the data center perhaps for generations to come, SSDs are making great strides, driving toward cost parity with HDDs with each new generation of product, while offering orders of magnitude performance gains and even higher reliability in many applications. One of the biggest names in Flash storage is Samsung, from their consumer grade SSD 950 Pro and 850 EVO lines to the squarely enterprise-targeted product the company has announced for volume availability today. 

Laying to rest the short-lived claim Fixstar made on "the world's largest SSD," Samsung Electronics today announce shipping availability of the SAS-enabled (Serial Attached SCSI) PM1633a solid state drive, weighing in at a big and burly 15.36 Terabytes.

Samsung PM1633a 15.36TB SAS SSD
Samsung's PM1633a 15.36 Terabyte SAS Solid State Drive

We first saw this bad boy in the flesh at Dell World 2015 along side Samsung's PM1725 NVMe SSD that was clipping along at a brisk 5.5GB/sec of bandwidth, though that drive caps out at paltry 6.4TB (/sarcasm). Data center managers, digital archivists and pack rats looking for maximum density per cubic inch will want to consider the PM1633a pictured above. Though the SAS interface offers 12Gbps of bandwidth, this drive tops out at 1.2GB/sec of read/write throughput and 200,000 read IOPs and 32,000 write IOPs respectively.

Samsung notes the PM1633a is "enabled by combining 512 of Samsung’s 256Gb V-NAND memory chips. The 256Gb dies are stacked in 16 layers to form a single 512GB package, with a total of 32 NAND flash packages in the 15.36TB drive."

Samsung employs 16GB of on-board DRAM, a custom controller and special firmware in the PM1633a such that drive can access large amounts of Flash NAND concurrently and offer a full complete drive write per day (DWPD) or 15.36TB of writes and up to 10 times the endurance of a standard MLC SSD. The PM1633a also boasts data protection capability in the event of power failure, a critical feature of enterprise-class solid state storage. 

Samsung's PM1633a SAS Solid State Drive line-up will come in 2.5-inch versions of 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 480GB sizes later this year but is shipping now in its highest capacity 15.36 Terabyte flavor. Pricing for the drives has not yet been disclosed.