Intel® Optane™ SSD P1600X as Boot Drive

"In this white paper, we explain why the Intel® Optane™ SSD P1600X Series for boot drives is an ideal data center solution. Data center servers are usually equipped with SATA NAND-based SSDs as boot drives. But these drives may raise concerns about performance, reliability, and cost, especially for today’s data-hungry, mission-critical workloads. Boot drives play a critical function in the data center, keeping thousands of servers up and running. Beyond the OS installation and boot processes, these drives also serve all application file system read and write requests. SATA SSDs’ throughput is 6.5x slower than NVMe throughput, making NVMe SSDs a better boot drive choice. However, even NVMe NAND drives’ performance and reliability suffer under heavy write pressure. What’s more, even the smallest SATA or NVMe SSDs provide far more capacity than what a boot drive requires, needlessly driving up data center costs. The Intel® Optane™ SSD P1600X Series solves these issues. It provides consistent performance and endurance across all workloads, at an optimal capacity. Intel Optane technology is the first major memory and storage breakthrough in 25 years. It bridges critical gaps in the storage and memory hierarchy. This unique technology delivers an industry-leading combination of low latency, high quality of service, fast throughput, and high endurance. Unlike other SSD technology, Intel Optane SSDs can read and write simultaneously without performance degradation. By combining Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel Optane SSDs, data center architects can deliver solutions that increase overall platform performance. The Intel Optane SSD P1600X Series offers two capacities, 58 GB and 118 GB, in the industry-standard M.2 22mm x 80mm form factor, which supports high endurance and low power. These drives include the following key features: • PCIe 3.0x4 with NVMe interface • Ultra-low latency (7μs for reads; 10μs for writes) for exceptional responsiveness • High endurance: 6 drive writes per day (DWPD) and a mean time between failure (MTBF) rating of 2 million hours • Power loss protection With more than 4x better random read, write, and read/write performance—and a similar improvement in IOPS/$ compared to a SATA-based Intel® SSD--the Intel Optane SSD P1600X Series excels at all the boot drive processes: boot up, OS installation, and OS file system access. In addition, while NAND-based boot drives have extra capacity, their performance and endurance characteristics do not contribute to being partitioned for additional services like metadata logging and caching. The responsive, high-endurance Intel Optane SSD P1600X provides the right amount of storage for typical boot drive requirements, plus additional capacity that can be utilized instead of sitting idle. Improved endurance can translate directly into lower total cost of ownership without sacrificing performance. With a five-year warranty, an Intel Optane SSD P1600X boot drive can significantly contribute to data center reliability and cost efficiency."