Not All SSDs Are Created Equal — Part 2: Keeping Data Safe With Reliable SSDs

By Doug Rollins - 2013-07-24

In my last post, I talked about how we optimize solid state drive (SSD) performance by improving NAND Flash management. Today, let’s discuss how we make these high-performance SSDs highly reliable as well.

There’s always a lot of talk about “reliability” in the storage industry—sometimes it’s real, and sometimes it’s just “talk.”  Almost all storage products tout “high reliability” as a prime feature. But what does reliability in storage really mean? In his article, How to Make Reliable SSDs – Reliable NAND Flash, Eric Slack, senior analyst at Storage Switzerland, answers this question. He explains that, “Reliability is the ability of a storage device to keep data safe and to reproduce that data on demand within an acceptable timeframe.” The concept is simple. The implementation and validation is complex.  This is particularly true in SSDs that are used in harsh and demanding system environments where reliability is essential.

In order to design in the high level of reliability required by the enterprise, SSD designers must understand the NAND Flash inside and out. Fortunately, because we’re also a NAND manufacturer, we have unique insight into the underlying NAND Flash device. As Slack states in his article, “Vendors like Micron are leveraging their vertical integration of the entire flash process to improve reliability and performance through the use of technologies like data path protection, dynamic NAND tuning and RAIN.”

All SSDs are not created equal in terms of reliability (among other things), and that’s important for SSD buyers to think about. Our enterprise SSDs provide customers with superior reliability features such as:

  • Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN) Configuration: Protects the NAND device from data loss—at any age. Download the RAIN technical brief.
  • Adaptive Read Management/Optimized Read (ARM/OR): Adjusts optimal read settings as natural shifts in the NAND device occur.
  • DataSAFE: Provides data path protection, including additional layers of integrity checks that do not affect performance. Download the Data Path Protection technical brief.
  • Physical Power-Loss Protection: Ensures data integrity and minimizes reboot time; eliminates uncorrectable errors and data miscompares for the end-user.

You can rely on a differentiated SSD experience with Micron, thanks to our NAND expertise.  

Have comments about Slack’s article or Micron’s SSD reliability? Drop me a comment, and let’s discuss!

Doug Rollins

Doug Rollins

Doug Rollins is a principal technical marketing engineer for Micron's Storage Business Unit, with a focus on enterprise solid-state drives. He’s an inventor, author, public speaker and photographer. Follow Doug on Twitter: @GreyHairStorage.