Just as the consumer market is starting to flood with many lower cost value based SSDs, we are starting to see more and more low cost read-centric SSDs in the enterprise market. These SSDs are targeted towards Web 2.0 and cloud storage use case scenarios and are typically much cheaper than mission critical storage options due to lower performance and write endurance. Compared to HDD deployments, however, these SSDs are much faster and more power efficient. They help to remove bottlenecks and speed up response times in content delivery and VDIs as well as lower total cost of ownership.
Up until now, the M500DC was Micron’s contender in this market segment, but its cost was a bit excessive for the more entry level needs. That is why today their portfolio has expanded to include a more value oriented option, the M510DC. By leveraging the same design and firmware from the M500DC, lower cost 16nm cMLC, and providing for some great endurance numbers, Micron hopes that the M510DC will cause some true disruption in this market segment.
They have even released two case studies showing just how quickly the M510DC can deliver a return on investment. According to MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets, Micron M510DC SSDs help to accelerate large medical image streaming times and thus increased productivity and potential revenue for years to come. Clayton Bank and Trust also reaps the rewards of fast enterprise class SSDs. Compared to consumer-class drives, Micron’s M510DC SSDs deliver faster speeds, better write endurance, and greater reliability. Making the switch to M510DC SSDs Clayton Bank and Trust estimates a 75% cost savings per drive replaced in their deployment! So far these SSDs seem to have a lot going for them and we haven’t even tested them! Let’s look at them a bit closer to see what else they have to offer.
SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The Micron M510DC comes in a 2.5″ 7mm form factor and is available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The performance focus for this SSD is read centric and sequential workloads, therefore its random write speeds aren’t rated as high as the M500DC that is built for mixed read/write and random workloads.
The M510DC is rated for up to 420MB/s reads and up to 380MB/s writes. IOPS are rated for up to 65K read and 23K write. In terms of endurance the M510DC is rated for up to 2 drive writes per day for capacities up to 480GB or 460TB/920TB/1,850TB respectively. The 960GB model is rated for up to 1 DWPD or 1140TB. The bit error rating on these SSDs is 10^16 and they have a MTTF rating of 2 million hours. Also, its operating temperature is set as 0°C to 70°C.
The M510DC is compatible with Micron Storage Executive, which provides health monitoring and secure erase capabilities. Micron has packed the M510DC with the same reliability features as their other SSDs through their XPERT storage architecture and power-loss protection. XPERT includes:
- Redundant array of independent NAND (RAIN) – Data parity protection
- DataSAFE – Provides for data path protection though metadata and ECC
- Reduce Command Access Latency (ReCAL) – Reduces maximum write latency and manages drive wear to deliver consistent performance
- Adaptive Read Management/Optimized Read (ARM/O) – Dynamic NAND read tuning improves performance
Also being introduced to this model as well as an update to their M500DC is TCG Enterprise (TCG-E) support. While TCG-E isn’t new, Micron is the first SSD vender in the market with a SATA version of TCG-E. For those unfamiliar with TCG-E, it is a data security standard focused on enterprise use. It provides protection for data at rest through hardware encryption. The encryption key is generated by the SSD and can never leave the drive, this means that it can be used to marry one drive to one host, if the SSD is removed data cannot be read without the encryption key. This in turn allows for a more graceful destruction that is more cost efficient (no need to shred the drive) for companies in the finance, insurance, healthcare, and government sectors.
The M510DC is in full production and currently available through Micron’s distribution partners. While Micron didn’t state MSRPs, they did mention that pricing is very competitive and to expect prices that are between the M600 and M500DC. Also, just as the M500DC, the M510DC is backed by a 5-year warranty.
A CLOSER LOOK
Once disassembled we can see the design is based upon the M500DC, the only difference is one less NAND package on the controller side of the PCB on our 480GB model.
The NAND in the M510DC is part number: MT29F1T08CUCCBH8-10:C. It is Micron’s 128Gbit 16nm Synchronous MLC, the same NAND used in the M600, only it is a bit higher binned. In total the five 128GB packages provide for 640GB of RAW NAND, thus over provisioning comes in at about 33% in our 480GB model. Although the total RAW capacity of this SSD is 480GB, the usable storage space is 447GB.
The 480GB M510DC has two 512MB DDR3-1600 DRAM packages (MT41K256M16HA-125 M:E), one on each side of the PCB for a total of 1GB.
The M510DC utilizes the same Marvell 88SS9187 controller that is in the M500DC as well as a bank of tantalum SMD capacitors to provide enough power to finish any pending writes to the NAND in the event of a power loss.