Enterprise SSDs Support the Speed of Business

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No End in Sight for Explosive Data Growth

In 2011, the amount of information created and replicated was estimated to surpass 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) and is expected to more than double every two years for the foreseeable future, reaching 7.9 zettabytes by 2015. Over the next decade, the number of servers (virtual and physical) worldwide will grow tenfold, the amount of information managed by enterprise data centers 50-fold, and the number of files the data center will manage—75-fold. No doubt, our world is moving faster. Businesses and consumers are continually creating and consuming digital content at light speed. They want data in an instant, wherever they are—in the office, at home or on the road. So the big question for any business that stores, manages and delivers data is: Can we keep up?1

Keeping Pace With Information Growth—The Data Center

The central source of the vast majority of this instantaneous, boundless content for businesses and consumers is the data center—both inside and outside the cloud. In order to keep up, we need faster, smarter and more efficient data centers: we need the speed of solid state drives (SSDs).

Data centers have begun to deploy SSDs to increase the performance of applications such as server virtualization, on-line transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, content delivery networks (CDN) and cloud computing. Enterprise SSDs, working together with traditional enterprise hard disk drives (HDDs), deliver the performance, intelligence and efficiency that business data centers need to keep up with the accelerating increase in demand for instant, anywhere access to digital content.

Market Situation

The enterprise SSD marketplace is still in its early stages of growth, with more suppliers than the market can profitably support. Vertical integration or strategic sourcing arrangements and processes that ensure adequate supply of high-quality NAND are also critical. Vendors without these things will struggle to survive. Industry consolidation is inevitable.

With the multitude of vendors, there is a wide array of product offerings— ranging from simple, client SSDs to complex, high-performance solutions for niche enterprise markets. In addition, many vendors inaccurately claim that client SSDs deliver the same performance and endurance benefits as enterprise SSDs. This causes marketing confusion, fragments the enterprise SSD market and inhibits growth. For the enterprise SSD market to achieve its full potential, product offerings must be purpose- built for the enterprise, seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructures and adhere to widely adopted industry standards. Client products are not designed for the strenuous 24.7 operations of the enterprise, and fall short by orders of magnitude in their ability to deliver the consistent performance, high endurance and interoperability needed for complex, heavy workloads.

Likewise, solutions for niche enterprise markets do not meet the broaderneeds of enterprise environments and do not adhere to industry standards—ultimately creating frustration for any users outside the intended niche. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and cloud providers need enterprise SSDs that meet the same industry standards and support the same enterprise feature set as enterprise HDDs to simplify integration and interoperability. They also expect SSD suppliers to provide the same product quality and reliability, world-class customer service, high-volume manufacturing, and other advantages of a strategic HDD supplier.

Delivering the Expertise Needed to Meet Data Centers’ Demands for Speed

Seagate continues to drive industry standards and testing methodologies through the Storage Network Association Industry’s Solid State Storage Initiative (SNIA SSSI) and the Storage Performance Council (SPC) for SSD performance. Seagate chairs the JEDEC JC64.8 subcommittee responsible for developing SSD endurance standards and for years has led the industry in developing security standards for Self-Encrypting Drives through its collaboration with the Trusted Computing Group. Seagate is also a key participant in the SCSI Trade Association, INCITS T10 and T13 committees, SATA-IO and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Collectively, these efforts help ensure interoperability of vendor products while enabling organizations to make better-informed decisions and easily compare enterprise storage devices.

With more than 225 million enterprise drives shipped over 30 years, Seagate continues to be the dominant global enterprise drive provider, even more so now with a strategic high-quality NAND sourcing agreement with Samsung. Seagate uses a common enterprise SSD/HDD development platform and feature set—optimized for either rotating or NAND flash media storage—that uses proven interface, data protection, and media management intellectual property and technology. The Seagate® Pulsar.2™ enterprise MLC SSDs meet the most demanding high-performance enterprise applications requirements—delivering the consistent performance2 and endurance3 that data centers require to meet stringent service-level agreements (SLAs). Seagate continues to invest in media management, interface, reliability and quality technologies, as well as rich analytic capabilities. This enables Seagate to help our customers by understanding and forecasting market trends and by delivering enterprise SSD storage solutions for a broader spectrum of applications in the future.


1 IDC – Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, June 2011.
2 Pulsar.2 SSDs deliver 14,008 average IOPS with an average response time under 3.2ms (Storage Performance Council SPC-1C audited performance test results). To date, SPC has not published performance results for any client SSD using an enterprise workload.
3 Pulsar.2 drives deliver up to 10 full drive writes per day (DWPD) per device versus up to 3 DWPD for a best-in-class client MLC SSD.

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