Intel unveil world’s densest and ‘totally silent’ SSD

Whilst the use of SSDs in data centres is certainly growing (we've recovered data from thousands of enterprise SSDs), their lower power consumption and cooling costs are still offset by the fact that they store less data than enterprise HDDs and are more expensive. But could that be about to change?

Intel have unveiled an SSD capable of storing 32TBs of data (three times the amount of data held in the U.S. congressional library, according to their press release) and that produces no sound whatsoever.

The Intel® SSD DC P4500 also utilises a dramatically different design to previous SSDs: it’s roughly the size of a 12-inch ruler (the type many readers might remember using in school). This new format – which allows data centres to utilise more drives within each server and also further reduces cooling costs – has been expected since the end of 2017 but is only now making its debut.

By utilising Intel’s latest 3D NAND technology, the drive offers previously unobtainable storage density. Thanks to this innovation, Intel have been able to stack memory cells on top of one another in several extremely thin layers. In fact, this drive packs an extremely impressive 64 layers of memory cells into this device. As 32 can be lined up side-by-side, a single server that uses these drives can hold up to one petabyte of data.

Additionally, the company have claimed that air conditioning is now the biggest cost accrued by data centres worldwide, noting that their latest drive produces significantly less heat than traditional hard drives, meaning that it can be kept cool with half of the air flow typically required to cool a hard drive. These drives, Intel claims, also use a tenth of the power and require just a twentieth of the space of a standard spinning drive.

Could this be the death of the HDD?

Whilst this development could well mean that reduced running costs make SSDs a more practicable solution for data centres, we doubt it’ll result in HDDs becoming completely obsolete.

Hard drives are, in our opinion, still the best option foranyone looking for a high-density backup drive. They’re still considerably cheaper than standard SSDs (though the cost of purchasing one of the latter is expected to fall), whereas drives using 3D NAND technology are certain to be astronomically expensive at first.

Furthermore – and crucially – the press release announcing this new drive makes no reference to how much the DC P4500 will cost and we suspect that it’ll be expensive meaning that the savings it generates will not yet be large enough to justify its cost for some time yet.

Whether you need data held on a HDD, SSD, RAID array or any other media recovered, Fields Data Recovery are here to help. Get in touch with us today.