Planning for PC refresh? Know about PCIe-based storage.

M.2. PCIe*. NVMe*. 3D NAND. SSD. Hopefully you got all of that.  If not, let me summarize:

Intel SSDThe next generation of Intel® Solid State Drives has hit the mainstream PC market.  As an IT technologist or decision maker, it’s time to understand what this means to your enterprise.

Intel has been delivering SSDs for clients and the data center for almost a decade.  Most of these drives were SATA-based SSDs – using the same attachment and protocol as hard disk drives.  SATA-based SSDs are generally performance-limited based on this legacy attachment.  In 2014, Intel launched its first data center SSD which used PCIe attachment and the NVMe protocol.  In 2015, Intel launched the Intel® SSD 750 Series, a PCIe, NVMe add-in card form-factor SSD providing enthusiast-level performance for desktops and workstations.

And now, Intel has launched its next set of products – specifically the Intel® SSD 600p Series for consumer PCs and the Intel® SSD Pro 6000p Series for business PCs.  These products deliver:

  • The opportunity for breakthrough performance compared to SATA-based SSDs and HDDs.
  • Small form factors and low power compared to the 750 Series, making them ideal for laptops.
  • Cost improvements and high capacities compared to prior generations of Intel® SSDs, thanks to 3D NAND from Intel.

So, let’s go over those acronyms:   M.2. PCIe. NVMe. 3D NAND. SSD. From Intel.

  • M.2:  The specification for the physical connector.  This connector can support either or both PCIe or SATA SSDs, depending on how the platform is designed.  New platforms are expected to increasingly support PCIe-based SSDs.
  • PCIe:  PCI Express – the bus connecting the storage device to the chipset or the CPU. The PCIe Gen3.0x4 bus provides about 6x the theoretical bandwidth of SATA 6Gbps.
  • NVMe:  A new protocol defined for fast storage.  Here’s a nice introduction to NVMe.
  • 3D NAND:  A new class of non-volatile memory from Intel.  Learn more about Intel 3D NAND here.
  • SSD:  Solid state drive, the best thing since sliced bread.
  • From Intel:  We’re proud of our products, and we’re a proven and trusted supplier.  Learn why here.

Why should you care, and why now?

  • PC procurement planning:  There is a major storage interface transition that has already begun.  Will the next PCs you buy support PCIe-based SSDs?
  • OS image support:  Will the NVMe storage driver require a change to your OS image?  Is it compatible with your encryption solution?  It’s a good time to understand potential changes.
  • Cost:  SSD prices have dropped dramatically over the past decade.  Intel 3D NAND helps to enable the continuation of this trend.
  • Performance:  Are you busy analyzing the performance of one SATA-based SSD against another?  Stop.  If you’re interested in performance, look at PCIe-based SSDs.

Take a look at the information in the supporting links above.  Do additional research.  Speak with your trusted advisors.  This is the beginning of a big shift in PC storage!

Thanks for your time!

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.