Data Center Tech Blog

Flash the Cat 4TB

Flash, the SanDisk® cat (felis catus sandiskus), has been prowling the SanDisk Milpitas HQ campus in search of an industry first: a 4TB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Solid State Drive (SSD).

Yes, a F-O-U-R Terabyte SAS SSD drive. And he’s finally found it!

Flash has been telling his hyperscale, cloud, HPC, enterprise app, social-media and e-commerce friends that the recently announced SanDisk Optimus MAX™ SAS SSD is exactly what they need to scale their data-hungry environments.

Is it “SAZ” or “SAS” ?

Flash, like all cats, wasn’t educated in English, so he has terrible spelling and grammar. Of course, by I CAN HAS 4TB SAZ SSD?, Flash actually means why can’t he have the reliability and performance of a traditional SAZ SAS drive with the high-density capacity of traditional SATA?

Until now, IT professionals had to compromise when it came to high density/performance options through the use of hard disk drives that leveraged the SATA – Serial ATA – storage protocol.

SATA hard disk drives enable larger storage density, but at the sacrifice of performance and reliability. Typically, SATA drives have been relegated to a non-performance, archival tier in the enterprise. Because SATA is a consumer-grade technology, we also have SATA storage used in desktops, laptops, and consumer portable drives.

SAS, in contrast to SATA, with its error recovery and higher I/O, is used in the enterprise for mission-critical applications. SAS drives, while higher in reliability and performance, have always been smaller in capacity relative to SATA drives.

Hyperscale, cloud, HPC, enterprise applications, social-media and e-commerce use cases need the following:

  1. High Performance: IOPS and/or data throughput, usually measured in MB/sec
  2. Scale: At least 1TB or greater of storage capacity per drive

It has always been a compromise to architecture large-scale infrastructures to accommodate the needs for Petabyte/Exabyte scale with enough IOPS and data throughput.


Storage tiering, replication, caching, application load balancers, parallel file systems, and other means to accelerate performance at scale have been traditionally deployed to achieve performance at scale using a mix of SAS and SATA technologies.

With the aforementioned techniques to achieve performance at scale, comes complexity, increased operational expenses, and exponential factors for root causes for application failure.

To alleviate some of the complex IT architectural challenges for performance at scale, the SanDisk Optimus MAX™ SAS SSD will be ideally suited for the largest compute-intensive workload use cases at NO COMPROMISE.

So, yes, Flash, YOU CAN HAS 4TB SAZ SSD! ☺

Spotted Flash? Thoughts on 4TB SAS? Join the conversation on @SanDiskDataCtr


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