Intel DC S3700 Review – a full Performance Characterisation

Power Consumption and Data Reliability

Power Consumption

I believe most people know that data centres are already one
of the major consumers of electricity in the industrialised world; indeed it is
estimated that currently 2% of all electricity consumption goes into IT
applications.  According to the European Union the energy consumption of data
centres was 46 Terawatt hours in 2006 and is set to rise to 93 TWhrs by 2020;
this is equivalent to one hundred million 100W light bulbs burning 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year.

Typically 40% of the power consumed by data centres is for
the IT load and 35% is for cooling the system.  Generally speaking, if a drive
consumes more power it will produce more heat – so power consumption is indeed
a double edged sword.  It is no surprise that a significant proportion of a
data centre’s power consumption goes on servers.  I understand cloud based
applications, such as Facebook, are the primary cause of the growth in servers
and the demand for storage space.

I recently listened to a BBC Radio 4 Programme that quoted
IBM as saying that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years
– staggering!

I’ve heard that Google has more than 1 million servers and
that Microsoft has more than 300,000 in its Chicago based data centre alone –
fortunately for humanity the very large players are also amongst the most
efficient (understandable, as the economics associated with power consumption
are for them huge).  So suffice to say, the power consumption of SSS Enterprise
solutions is a very important global consideration.    

The following graph uses the typical Power Consumption, when
active, as published in the respective manufacturer’s specification. (please note
that the value for the Samsung 843 is the average of the typical read active
and write active values, as specified by Samsung)


The Intel DC S3700’s can be regarded as reasonably typical
for a SATA drive, but is not as competitive as recent solutions from Seagate
and Samsung.

Data Reliability

UBER –(as defined by JEDEC, the global leader in developing
open standards for the microelectronic industry) is a metric for data
corruption rate equal to the number of data errors per bit read after applying
any specified error correction method.  It stands for ‘Unrecoverable Bit Error
Rate’.  JEDEC specifies that an Enterprise level SSS solution must have a value
>= 1 x 1016.  


The Intel DC S3700 exceeds the JEDEC requirement and has a
competitive UBER of 1 x 1017.

Endurance is warranted at 10 Drive Writes per Day (DWPD) for
5 years.

This is how Intel outlines the Data Reliability and Security
features of the DC S3700 –

The Intel SSD DC S3700 Series
combines the following features to provide an SSD you can count on.

Full End to End data
. Protects your data from the time it enters the drive to the
time it leaves. The DC S3700 uses an advance error correction scheme that
ensures data integrity by protecting against possible data corruption in the
NAND, SRAM, and DRAM memory. The DC S3700 also protects the data in transit
through several techniques such as parity checks, Cyclic Redundancy Checks
(CRC) and LBA tag validation. Once an error is detected, an immediate attempt
will be made to correct it, and any uncorrectable error will be reported to the
host. To further improve data assurance, the Intel SSD DC S3700 provides an
array of surplus flash memory that caches data to minimize potential data loss.

Advanced Encryption Standard
(AES) Capable
. Protects your data from external threats and internal system
issues with 256-bit encryption technology, giving you the peace of mind that
your company’s data is secure and safe.

Enhanced Power-Loss Data
. Reduces potential data loss by detecting and protecting data
from an unexpected system power loss. The drive saves all cached data in the
process of being written before shutting down, thereby minimizing potential
data loss.

Endurance Technology

Meet your most demanding needs
with marathon-like write endurance.

Incorporating High Endurance
Technology (HET), the Intel® Solid-State Drive DC S3700 Series delivers
single-level cell (SLC) solid-state drive like endurance in a multi-level cell
(MLC) SSD package. By combining SSD NAND management techniques and NAND silicon
enhancements, HET enables the DC S3700 to achieve 10 Drive Writes per Day
(DWPD) over a 5 year drive life. For the DC S3700 800GB that’s equivalent to
recording over 186 years of HD video over the life of the drive.

Now let’s head to the next page, to look at the
Conclusions of this review…..