Micron 9400 NVMe SSD the new leader for data center workloads

Alvaro Toledo | February 2023

Are you seeking improved health outcomes through advanced medical diagnostics? Do you want more devices you can control with your voice? Are you interested in getting better shopping recommendations?

These lifestyle conveniences we take for granted are powered by mission-critical data centers running various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, each optimized for specific tasks. For example, the National Football League (NFL) is using AI to create a virtual representation of an NFL player called the “Digital Athlete” – an injury protection and prediction tool to enhance players’ health and safety and to reduce their potential for injuries.1 These types of workloads quickly ingest data to deliver meaningful insights from massively large data sets. If we desire to use AI to improve our lives, data center operators need storage that is not only exceptionally performant and responsive but can also accommodate those massive data sets.

Today, Micron announced the 9400 NVMe™ SSD — a drive designed to manage the most demanding data center workloads with over 30 terabytes of available storage per SSD, superior performance over competitors’ drives,2 and significantly improved power efficiency with better IOPS/watt than the previous generation of SSD.

What drove us to create such a powerful SSD? Our customers. As we create more data while doing daily tasks, such as going to the doctor or shopping, the demands on SSDs will evolve. Today, storage needs to take up less space, consume less power and deliver rapid access to data. We didn’t just build an SSD that looks good on spec sheets; we built one that delivers improved performance where it counts most — in real-world workloads.

The Micron 9400 NVMe SSD is the industry-leading volume-production 30.72TB U.2 drive today — making it the highest-density 2.5-inch high-performance NVMe drive available for your data center.3 The Micron 9400 also has consistently low latency for all its capacities, including the 30.72TB drive.4 Can you imagine what you could do with a production 42U rack that can accommodate 18 2U servers with 24 drives in each server? With our drive, you can now store over 13 petabytes of storage in that one rack.

The Micron 9400 also delivers improved power efficiency ― with up to 77% better IOPS/watt than our previous generation of high-performance SSD.5 This improvement can reduce the power consumption in your data center for the same amount of performance, which can lower your power bills. Or it could allow you to squeeze more from your servers for the same level of power consumption. This optimization is increasingly important in data centers, which cannot get additional power into their racks.

The Micron 9400 SSD sets a new performance standard for PCIe® Gen4 storage. In addition to delivering an astonishing 1.6 million IOPS for 100% random reads, the Micron 9400 really shines with mixed IO. Mixed IO refers to the random read/write mix of a workload, which can be simulated by the Flexible IO (FIO) synthetic benchmark commonly used to characterize SSD performance. For a 90% read and 10% write (90/10) workload, the Micron 9400 surpasses 1 million IOPs. That’s up to 71% better than competitive data center SSDs.6 For a 70/30 workload, the Micron 9400 achieves over 800,000 IOPs, which is up to 127% better than the competition.7 For an 80/20 workload, the Micron 9400 achieves over 1 million IOPs, which is up to 88% better than the competition.8 But the key question is, “How does the Micron 9400 fare with real-world workloads?”

To answer that question, we tested the Micron 9400 SSD and its competitors in real-world workloads.


RocksDB is a key-value store used extensively for storing persistent data on SSDs at Meta.9 It is also commonly used in latency-sensitive, user-facing applications such as storing viewer history and detecting spam, among others. RocksDB was chosen because it’s a database built for extremely fast performance storage. We tested the Micron 9400 and three performance focused NVMe SSDs from competitors in three scenarios:

  • Random reads from the database
  • 80/20 random read/write from the database
  • Random reads from the database while writing to the database

RocksDB test results showed that the Micron 9400 SSD demonstrates up to 34% higher workload responsiveness across all three scenarios with 4K and 16K block sizes at multiple queue depths.

Aerospike Database

Aerospike Database is an open-source NoSQL database that is optimized for flash storage. It’s one of the fastest NoSQL databases underpinning time-critical web applications like fraud detection, recommendation engines, real-time payment processing and stock trading. PayPal — the world’s largest online money transfer, billing and payment system — was able to quickly identify fraud patterns in under 200 milliseconds by switching from its legacy NoSQL database to Aerospike.10

We tested the Micron 9400 against the same three performance focused NVMe SSDs from competitors using Aerospike Database and four common workloads like those used for the Yahoo! Cloud Serving Benchmark (YCSB).

Aerospike test results showed that the Micron 9400 SSD demonstrates up to 2.1 times higher peak performance and superior responsiveness for the read-modify-write workload. Similar comparable results were found for the other three workloads.

Noisy Neighbor Tests

Multi-tenant cloud architectures have become the standard in cloud computing. In a cloud multi-tenant architecture, a tenant that monopolizes shared resources like storage, network or compute is called a “noisy neighbor.” Noisy neighbors become problematic when they compromise the performance of other tenant environments or workload performance.

We tested the Micron 9400 and leading competitor's performance focused NVMe SSD in a scenario where different workloads competed for same shared SSD resource divided by namespaces. Our noisy neighbor test results showed that the Micron 9400 SSD delivers more than double the overall performance of the competitor's SSD and up to 62% better response time. Similar response time improvements can be expected for the other 9400 capacities all the way to 30.72TB.


NVIDIA® Magnum IO GPUDirect® Storage (GDS) is a technology that enables a direct memory access (DMA) data transfer path between graphics process unit (GPU) memory and storage. This helps avoid the additional overhead of transferring data from storage to the CPU first and then from the CPU to the GPU. With this direct path, system bandwidth increases while latency and utilization load on the CPU and GPU decreases.

We compared the impact of NVIDIA Magnum IO GDS in a busy system (one with compute-bound tasks) using the Micron 9400 NVMe SSD and the leading competitor’s performance focused NVMe SSD.

The GDS tests confirmed that 9400 SSD beats the competition by 25% in a busy system — a critical performance improvement for artificial intelligence environments.

As you can see the Micron 9400 is built to manage critical workloads like database acceleration, artificial intelligence and online transaction processing (OLTP) in an on-premise server farm or in a multi-tenant shared cloud infrastructure. The Micron 9400 NVMe SSD is the highest-performing PCIe Gen4 SSD with the best mixed workload performance at the lowest latencies of the performance focused class of data center NVMe SSDs in the market today.

The Micron 9400 NVMe SSD truly sets a new standard for PCIe Gen4 storage — with industry-leading capacity, superior performance with rapid and consistent responsiveness, and the power efficiency to tame the most demanding data center workloads.

To learn more, visit or contact your sales representative to assess high-performance Micron 9400 SSDs in your environment. You can also read more about our workload testing.

1. NFL and AWS collaborate to help player safety:
2. The Micron 9400 SSD outperforms the competition’s data center NVMe SSDs up to 2.3 times in mixed workloads. The competitor data center NVMe SSDs were identified based on data center market share as noted in Forward Insights SSD Supplier Status Q4/22 report. Performance was measured using 7.68TB SSDs at a queue depth (QD) of 256 with FIO. Additional details on FIO are available here:
3. 30.72TB in a 2.5-inch form factor is the highest density available in a high-performance NVMe data center SSD as of this announcement.
4. The Micron 9400 SSDs have 5x9s latencies that are less than 420 µs for 4K random reads. These 4K random reads are greater than 1.2M IOPs at a QD of 128.
5. 7.68TB SSDs: Micron 9400 SSD: 94,117 4K random read IOPS/watt vs. 53,100 IOPS/watt for prior-generation Micron 9300 NVMe SSD
6. The up to 71% better than statement is based on FIO (90% read and 10% write at average latency) mixed workload performance of 1.06M IOPS for Micron 9400 at 256 QD comparison to the 90/10 mixed workload performance of three competitor SSDs at the same 256 QD.
7. The up to 127% better than statement is based on FIO (70% read and 30% write at average latency) mixed workload performance of 802K IOPS for Micron 9400 at 256 QD comparison to the 70/30 mixed workload performance of three competitor SSDs at the same 256 QD.
8. The 88% better than statement is based on FIO (80% read and 20% write) mixed workload performance of 1M+ IOPS for Micron 9400 at 256 QD comparison to the 80/20 mixed workload performance of three competitor SSDs at the same 256 QD.
9. See ELI5: RocksDB - Fast Data Storage ( for details.
10. See the PayPal case study at for the details.

VP & GM, Data Center and Storage

Alvaro Toledo

Alvaro is Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Storage at Micron. He is responsible for strategy, product and technology roadmaps, technical customer engagement, and profit and loss (P&L) for data center storage.

Alvaro earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from National University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.