Data Center Tech Blog

Density definition

Density. The word, as the Merriam Webster online dictionary defines it , captures the richness of a material that packs more, per unit volume, than other materials.

1: the quality or state of being dense
2: the quantity per unit volume, unit area, or unit length: as
a : the mass of a substance per unit volume
b : the distribution of a quantity (as mass, electricity, or energy) per unit usually of space (as length, area, or volume)

And it is density that best describes the Optimus MAX SAS solid-state drive (SSD). This product —the highest capacity SAS SSD in the world – brings a full 4 TB of capacity to the standard-size SAS drive. Of the four Optimus models, the MAX is at the high-end for density, designed for read-intensive workloads in the transactional and database market spaces. It is one of four SAS SSD models introduced on April 29, providing a broad range of capabilities, to address a wide range of workloads.

SanDisk Optimus MAX 4TB SAS SSD

Optimus MAX – Impact on Data Center OpEx

Since arriving at SanDisk® last fall, I have learned from customer deployments that flash has a dramatic impact on the amount of data center space needed for a given business solution. So, in the case of SQL Server consolidation, a row of racks can be reduced to just a few flash-enabled blades supporting dozens of databases. That’s a dramatic savings in data center space. Or, in the case of scale-out Analytics workloads, more storage can be placed in each server in a scale-out cluster, reducing the total number of servers needed for a Hadoop analytics workload, which typically requires dozens to hundreds of servers.

The benefits of space reduction then, in turn, reduce power and cooling costs. This impacts enterprise data centers – and cloud service provider datacenters hosting massive amounts of servers. So, operational expenses (OpEx) figure into any equation of how much a given flash deployment will cost. By reducing the total number of servers needed to “hit” a given total data capacity, customers will see benefits in terms of OpEx costs – key to decision-making by business unit managers and the business.

Performance is always a key asset of flash-in-the-data center. That’s usually the first reason why flash is considered: Its ability to accelerate workload performance. When large-capacity drives are involved, more data can be pulled into each server, allowing them to tackle Big Data with more efficient database and application workloads. For the organizations that are gearing up to deal with the data tsunami, having high capacity drives will save space and energy, with immediate effects.


Where It Fits in SanDisk’s Product Portfolio

Optimus MAX is the highest capacity SAS drive SanDisk offers. Each standard SAS enclosure now brings twice the density that was available in earlier Optimus models – and roughly 2-3 times the capacity in the most dense 10K-15K rpm SAS hard-disk drive that is commercially available. Also, the MAX drive will be sold at SATA-level values – reducing Capex, compared with acquiring multiple SATA drives to reach the same storage capacity.

It is best suited for read-intensive workloads, including those in Big Data Analytics, indexing and other web-centric workloads, and media streaming. These capabilities are valuable in cloud service provider data centers, as well as enterprise datacenters. Hosters, cloud providers and traditional IT data centers – all will benefit from having a 4TB SAS drive available, and shipping, in the marketplace.

For data center managers, it extends a broad portfolio of Optimus drives – the Optimus Extreme, Optimus Ultra, Optimus Ascend, and the Optimus Eco. Each can be mapped to a specific deployment – from write-intensive to mixed-use to read-intensive. Details about those drives are available here.


SanDisk foresees higher density drives in the next 1-2 years—extending capacity per drive to 8 TB and 16TB. The trajectory of capacity rise is clear. But if you’re in the market now for high-capacity drives, SAS solid-state drives already offer higher capacity than the highest performance SAS hard disk drives (HDDs). With this announcement, the market situation has changed: There is just one SAS drive at the 4TB level, the Optimus MAX. That makes the choice clear for the most demanding data-centric workloads.


Density Matters: Elevating Our SAS Platform with the Industry’s First 4TB SAS SSD and 12Gb/s SAS


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