Micron P320h HHHL 700GB PCIe Enterprise SSD Review – Unbelievable IOPS and Absurd Endurance

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

In testing the Micron P320h HHHL PCIe SSD, well be using our Enterprise Test System.

Well be using Red Hat Enterprise Linux and/or CentOS for most all of our enterprise testing. Linux has less overhead and is generally more flexible when it comes to evaluating performance.

That said, our enterprise test bench is OS agnostic. Well apply a few new standardized testing techniques in addition to some of our older test protocols. We want to isolate and explore the individual performance of the review drives as accurately as we can.

As the test bench evolves, we hope the result is a more tangible, relevant performance evaluation.

A special thanks to Asus, CrucialOCZ, and Fractal Design for sponsoring our Enterprise Test Bench.

CAPACITY AND R.A.I.N.

As we stated earlier, the P320h’s 1024GB of flash gets used in different ways. 128GB, or 12.5%, goes to R.A.I.N.— Micron’s NAND-level redundancy scheme. Should one NAND device fail prematurely, the R.A.I.N. system should keep the drive operating though the Micron parity scheme (at the expense of 1/8th of the drive’s flash). After that, 197GB is used for over-provisioning and 50GB goes to spare area (~7%).

All told, that leaves just about 650GB available capacity.

Micron’s R.A.I.N. (redundant array of independent NAND) system is similar to other systems. For every 7 elements of NAND, one additional unit goes to parity. In the event of a failure, the drive can seamlessly recover the data of the failed NAND from the parity data. There are other schemes that could be used, but the 7 +1 method offers the best combination of speed and capacity.

R.A.I.N. takes blocks from different bits of flash, and groups them into “super blocks” composed of eight individual blocks. One of these blocks is used to store parity data for the other 7 blocks, which is enough to recover one of the remaining seven individual blocks. At a global level, it’s enough to recover should a whole die fail in service. Whole die failures aren’t the most common cause of drive failure (that dubious distinction probably belongs to firmware issues), but they happen frequently enough that using 1/8th of the flash on a drive for protection makes sense.

12
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
toddkevindsioChristopher RyanHolly Smackeye Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
todd
Guest
todd

Micron doesnt own the controller. It is made by IDT.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

We are aware of that, thanks. Our reasoning behind wording as such is because this is, by no means, a simple stock implementation of a controller and similar could not have been accomplished without Micron’s engineering expertise and software. Great point and perhaps we could reword things just a bit…

Christopher Ryan
Guest
Christopher Ryan

Micron has a Minneapolis-based controller team which did much of the work on the controller. Basically, IDT has a stock PCIe controller, but it’s easily modified for custom jobs. Micron refined the design for the P320h. IDT now has a reference NVMe design, but the NVMe standard is far from universal yet. One day, a PCIe SSD won’t need a special driver, but today they do.

Rp
Guest
Rp

Micron developed and owns the chip, IDT just fabs it.

todd
Guest
todd

Incorrect. This is the very same controller that is used with the new NVMe controllers that IDT has developed.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Just to help you out, this is what has been posted at Anands after they inadvertently stated it was NVMe.:

Update: Micron tells us that the P320h doesn’t
support NVMe, we are digging to understand how Micron’s controller
differs from the NVMe IDT controller with a similar part number.

Our interpretation of the chip appears to be correct as it is written and this same ‘structure’ has been used in the SSD industry prior. This is not a simple plug and play adaption of a chip, but rather, custom package.

Thanks again.

todd
Guest
todd

Yes, it isnt NVMe, but it is an IDT chip, therefore it is not developed in house by Micron.

Jerry Lafferty
Guest

old news

Nigel
Guest

Just needs a few heat sinks and a fan or maybe a water block to keep it cooler.

Holly Smackeye
Guest
Holly Smackeye

Todd – What makes you think you know so much about this chip?