Last fall, several enterprise SSD vendors reached out to us around the same time, offering review samples of their latest and greatest. We put together an updated test suite for enterprise and datacenter SSDs and spent more than a month hammering the drives. Our review of two SATA drives was published first, but this review of 9 NVMe drives is what we've really been looking forward to. These multi-TB drives show just how far NVMe can go beyond the limits of SATA and SAS SSDs.

 

Two of the products we're looking at today come from familiar manufacturers. Samsung is the dominant player in the SSD market, shipping more drives than the next three companies combined. We have their PM1725a in house: an older flagship model, but still the fastest we've ever tested with almost twice the random read performance of an Intel Optane SSD. SK Hynix sent over their PE6011, a low-power entry-level datacenter U.2 drive that is part of their strategy to reestablish a foothold in market segments where they have faltered in recent years.

We also have two new brands featured in one of our reviews for the first time. DapuStor and DERA are two Chinese drive manufacturers that have been around for a few years but have until recently been focusing on their domestic market. DERA's strategy is more centered around developing home-grown technology to compete with foreign suppliers by designing their own SSD controller. DapuStor worked with familiar names like Marvell and Kioxia/Toshiba to create datacenter SSDs focused on efficiency, while also pursuing a long-term roadmap toward advanced in-house tech.

Nine new drives adding up to 40TB of high-end storage might seem like a lot, but it's barely enough to to cover the breadth of the enterprise SSD market. No two of these models are in direct competition. Enterprise SSD product segments can be defined in terms of form factor, write endurance, capacity and performance. Different use cases will call for a different kind of drive, and there's no one size fits all solution. 

Reviewed Models Overview
(Drives Tested in Bold)
Model Interface Form Factor Capacities Memory Write Endurance
(DWPD)
DapuStor
Haishen3 H3000
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
96L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
DapuStor
Haishen3 H3100
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 800 GB
1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
96L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
DERA
D5437
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
64L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
DERA
D5457
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
64L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
SK Hynix
PE6011
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 7mm U.2 960 GB
1.92 TB
3.84 TB
7.68 TB
72L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
Samsung
PM1725a
PCIe 3.0 x8 HHHL AIC 1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
48L 3D TLC 5 DWPD
Previously Reviewed by AnandTech:
Micron
5100 MAX
SATA 2.5" 7mm 240 GB
480 GB
960 GB
1.92 TB
32L 3D TLC 5 DWPD
Samsung
883 DCT
SATA 2.5" 7mm 240 GB
480 GB
960 GB
1.92 TB
3.84 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.8 DWPD
Samsung
983 DCT
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 7mm U.2 960 GB
1.92 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.8 DWPD
Intel
DC P4510
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.7–1.1 DWPD
Intel Optane
DC P4800X
PCIe 3.0 x4 HHHL AIC 375 GB
750 GB
1.5 TB
3D XPoint 60 DWPD
Memblaze
PBlaze5 C916
PCIe 3.0 x8 HHHL AIC 3.2 TB
6.4 TB
64L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
Note: Tested capacities are shown in bold

To provide some more meaningful comparisons, we've retested and included several other enterprise SSDs from previous reviews.

Drives In Detail: Samsung & SK hynix
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  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    The enterprise market is more serious about QA and product qualification. Phison got a consumer PCIe 4.0 controller out in the middle of 2019, but the quick-and-dirty approach they took for that isn't useful in the enterprise market.

    There are lots of consumer and enterprise PCIe 4.0 SSDs coming down the pipeline, but at the moment there's very little that has completed qualification and is ready for widespread production deployment. That was even more true back in November when testing for this review started.
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