Micron 9100 MAX Enterprise NVMe SSD Review (2.4TB)

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY

In testing all enterprise drives we focus on long term stability. In doing so, we stress products not only to their maximum rates, but also with workloads suited to enterprise environments. We use many off-the-shelf tests to determine performance, but we also have specialized tests to explore specific behaviors we encounter. With enterprise drives, you will see that we do not focus on many consumer level use-cases.

When testing SSDs, the drive is purged and then preconditioned into a steady state before capturing its performance results. We also disable all write caching on the DUT when possible, this ensures consistent results that are complaint with SNIA standards. Our hope is that we present tangible results that provide relevant information to the buying public.

Sean Enterprise Test Bench Urban T81

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Urban T81
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X99 WS-E
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3
CPU COOLER: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
POWER SUPPLY: Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W Gold
GRAPHICS: MSI GT 720
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz
STORAGE: Crucial MX200 500GB
OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
MOBO FIRMWARE: 1.70

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to those who jumped in specifically to help the cause. Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock for the motherboard and CPU, be quiet! for the cooling fans, and Thermaltake for the case. We have detailed all components in the table below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate of our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any single component. As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase through our links!

SNIA TESTING

The Storage Networking Industry Association has an entire industry accepted performance test specification for solid state storage devices. Some of the tests are complicated to perform, but they allow us to look at some important performance metrics in a standard, objective way.

Micron 9100 Max 2.4TB SNIA Bar

SNIA’s Performance Test Specification (PTS) includes IOPS testing, but it is much more comprehensive than just running 4KB writes with Iometer. SNIA testing is more like a marathon than a sprint. In total, there are 25 rounds of tests, each lasting 56 minutes. Each round consists of 8 different block sizes (512 bytes through 1MB) and 7 different access patterns (100% reads to 100% writes). After 25 rounds are finished (just a bit longer than 23 hours), we record the average performance of 4 rounds after we enter steady state.

  • Purge: Secure Erase, Format Unit, or vender specific
  • Preconditioning: 2x capacity fill with 128K sequential writes
  • Each round is composed of .5K, 4K, 8K, 16K, 32K, 64K, 128K, and 1MB accesses
  • Each access size is run at 100%, 95%, 65%, 50%, 35%, 5%, and 0% Read/Write Mixes, each for one minute.
  • The test is composed of 25 rounds (one round takes 56 minutes, 25 rounds = 1,400 minutes)

Micron 9100 Max 2.4TB SNIA Surface

Unlike our other performance tests, the SNIA tests only last for a relatively short period of time each (1 minute), but they cover many more access patterns and transfer sizes. All tests were done at a QD of 256. Looking at 100% read performance we can see that the Micron 9100 MAX performs very well, reaching 738K IOPS at the 4KB file size. We can also see that it delivers very strong mixed workload performance at 4KB. During the 4KB 65%/35% read/write portion of the test the drive averaged an astonishing 459K IOPS! Finally, looking on the opposite end of the scale we can see that it managed to best it’s rated spec of 300K IOPS for 4K write, reaching 337K IOPS.

LATENCY

To specifically measure latency, we use a series of 512b, 4K, and 8K measurements. At each block size, latency is measured for 100% read, 65% read/35% write, and 100% write/0% read mixes.

Micron 9100 Max 2.4TB SNIA av lat

At QD256 the average latency was overall good, especially for the 4KB file size with all results under 1ms. 0.5KB file size seems to be slightly higher than most other similar drives we have tested, however, lower than the HGST SN100. At the 8KB files size the average latency is approximately double the 4KB’s metrics.

Micron 9100 Max 2.4TB SNIA max lat

Moving onto the 9100 MAX’s maximum latency we can see that it does very well to maintain a tight hold on outliers. During 100% reads latency is very well controlled across all three file sizes, all under 8ms. There is a small jump for all at the 65% read workloads, but these values are average around 10-11ms. During 100% writes, 4KB looks to be very well regulated as well with the greatest value reaching just 7.2ms. Overall, the maximum latency results for the Micron 9100 MAX are very well tamed and lower than most of the other drives we have tested, thus this shows a good first glimpse at its tight performance distribution.

Leave a Reply