In my role at Micron, I talk to a lot of Operations and Client/Server Admins who are stumped on why there are so many similar SSDs on the market from Micron and other vendors. It’s a good question – when you see two seemingly-identical SSDs on your favorite shopping website, but notice the server/enterprise version costs way more than the one that is designed for client devices like laptops, it can be confusing.
You take a quick look through the specs of both and they seem similar….1 TB (terabyte) of storage, a SATA interface, 2.5 inch form factor, similar warranty…What’s the difference? I put together a quick (less than 3 minutes) video to look at the differences under the hood of SSDs on the market today. If you have questions about the difference between client and servers SSDs, this video will help.
As you saw, there are three main areas where these drives can be different:
- Endurance: How much data can be written to the drive over its lifetime?
- Performance: How many applications or users can actively access the drive before performance starts to suffer?
- Data Protection: How does the drive behave in a sudden power-loss situation, and how does it check data along the data path?
Of course, a 3 minute video isn’t comprehensive as there can be other differences like controller architecture, NAND design, power envelopes, etc. that can vary depending on where the drive will be used. Drop a note in the comments if a deep dive on these would be interesting. Thanks for watching!
Want to know more? Here are some papers and articles I compiled that go deeper into the topics I mention in the video:
Power Loss Protection in Client and Enterprise SSDs
A Comparison of Client and Enterprise SSD Data Path Protection
Wall Street Technology Association: Choosing the Right SSDs for Your Data Center
The SSD Review: Micron M510DC SSD Review (480GB) – Cost Effective Endurance
TCO Ramifications of SSD Write Endurance