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Industry survey identifies improved SSD endurance as key to widespread enterprise SSD adoption

Findings also highlight cost as primary barrier to transition to all-flash environments

SMART Storage Systems, an innovative enterprise solid-state drive (SSD) technology provider, today announced the results of an international industry survey revealing that 77 per cent of respondents believe NAND Flash endurance is the key to widespread SSD adoption in the enterprise. Further underscoring the need for improved endurance of more cost-effective multi-level cell (MLC) NAND Flash, 55 per cent of respondents identified cost as the primary barrier to transitioning to an all-Flash enterprise storage environment.

The SMART Storage Systems survey was conducted at the company's exposition booth during the 2012 Flash Memory Summit, VMworld 2012, SNW Fall (U.S.) 2012, and SNW Europe 2012 conferences, collecting 722 responses. Survey participants included IT management and infrastructure professionals, storage architects, and engineering and product managers from the United States and Europe.

Viewed by many as the answer to server and storage bottlenecks, the survey found that 52 per cent of organisations currently leverage SSDs in their environment, either in all-Flash architectures or SSDs combined with traditional hard-disk drives (HDDs). Seeking a balance between cost, performance, and endurance, many data centre managers look to consumer-grade MLC Flash-based SSDs. However, due to its inherently low endurance, MLC-based SSDs quickly wear out in write-intensive enterprise workloads, requiring organisations to replace their SSDs multiple times during the warranty period thereby increasing the total cost of ownership (TCO). While 59 per cent of the survey's respondents believe that MLC Flash is enterprise-ready, 72 per cent rated the endurance of their current SSDs as a seven or below on a 10-point scale, resulting in slower penetration of SSDs in enterprise environments due to the need to replace drives within the stated warranty period.

In addition to highlighting the need for endurance-enhanced MLC NAND Flash, the survey also spotlighted key factors that data centre purchasers consider when evaluating solutions, including:

  • 41 per cent of respondents say performance is the most important characteristic when evaluating SSDs, with reliability and endurance rounding out the top three.

  • 40 per cent of respondents would choose MLC if they were the storage purchase decision maker for their data centre, compared to 30 per cent for single-level cell (SLC).

  • Only seven per cent of respondents would select triple-level cell (TLC) NAND Flash for their enterprise environment, if it were available.

"Since SSDs became a viable option for the enterprise, performance, cost, and reliability have been critical points of evaluation. However, as IT purchasers begin to better understand the technology's strengths and weaknesses, we are seeing more importance placed on the balance between endurance and cost," said John Scaramuzzo, President of SMART Storage Systems. "We have always believed that endurance is the key to making SSDs truly viable in the enterprise. Our Guardian Technology Platform enables consumer-grade MLC Flash to reach up to 50 drive writes per day, enabling SSDs to strike the balance between performance, reliability, cost, and endurance, and meet the requirements of nearly any enterprise application."

For more information on the Guardian Technology Platform or SMART Storage Systems, please visit the company's website at http://www.smartstoragesys.com/, the company's blog at http://www.smartstorageblog.com/, find us on Twitter under the handle @SMARTSSD, or connect with us on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/smart-storage-systems.

-ENDS-

About SMART Storage Systems
SMART Storage Systems is a technology leader in the design, development and deployment of current and next-generation enterprise solid-state storage products. Combining leading-edge, enterprise-class design and proven world-class support, SMART Storage Systems leverages its deep expertise in Flash and enterprise storage technology. SMART Storage Systems delivers high-quality, high-reliability solutions to a broad customer base including tier one storage and server OEMs. In support of these designs, SMART Storage Systems provides award-winning innovations in solid-state storage technology, such as NAND high-endurance Guardian™ technology, to a variety of customers in the enterprise storage, enterprise server, data center, defense and industrial markets. SMART Storage Systems is part of the SMART family of global companies. See http://www.smartstoragesys.com/ for more information.

About SMART Worldwide Holdings
The SMART family of global companies are leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of electronic subsystems for the most demanding OEMs around the world. The SMART companies have led the way over the past 23 years providing standard and custom products to today's leading global OEMs crossing all major electronic industries. These industries include PC, enterprise and industrial servers, networking, telecom, defense, aerospace, gaming and embedded application markets. Taking innovations from the design stage through manufacturing and delivery, SMART Modular Technologies has developed a comprehensive memory product line that includes DRAM, SRAM and Flash memory in various form factors. SMART Storage Systems offers high-performance, high-capacity SSDs for enterprise storage, enterprise server, data center, defense, aerospace, industrial automation, medical and transportation markets. SMART's presence in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America enables it to provide its customers with proven expertise in international logistics, asset management and supply-chain management worldwide. See http://www.smartm.com/ for more information.

Press Contacts
Andrew Chatterton/ Rob Jessel
Spreckley Partners Ltd
T: +44 (0) 207 388 9988
E: [email protected]

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