Wednesday 5 May 2010

Intel SSD Expected Lifetime And Gross Data Throughput Capabilities

While working on the previous post on Intel SSDs configured in the Intel Modular Server SAN, the twelfth slide in the IMS IDF2009 presentation was a real eye opener:


Note the numbers for the amount of data that can be written to the X25-E series drives as well as the two X25-M series drives!

  • X25-E Series
    • 3 Years of random writes
    • 1-2 Petabytes of data volume
  • X25-M Series in a Client setting
    • 5 Years of random writes
    • 35 Terabytes of data volume
  • X25-M Series in a Datacenter setting
    • 3 Years of random writes
    • 7.5-15 Terabytes of data volume respectively

Those numbers give us a view of Intel’s expected lifetime for their Solid-State Drives in terms of the total volume of data to be written to them.

On initial view, the numbers seem relatively small volume wise. But, given the fact that we deal with some substantial amounts of static data both on servers and workstations we need to be mindful of the actual volume of data written to the disk over its expected lifetime.

Once we have a server OS and whatever applications installed on the disks, we are probably going to fall fairly far below the 20GB/day listed for the Intel X25-M series drives in a Client setting for example.

Intel Source:

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Seanpt said...

There is one huge factor you aren't considering here: You get a warning on when an SSD is reaching the end of life. With a traditional disk, you never know when a servo is going to give out or a head is going to crash into a platter.

I know that in the last year I've used about 8% of the life of my X25-M. So in 10 or so years I'll know it is ready to replace.

Finally the published numbers, especially from Intel are super conservative. Go read the anand articles to get more info.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


We have not delved into the Intel Toolbox since the drives we have are set on board based RAID arrays yet.

I suspect that this is where the warning would be given?

I agree, manufacturers have always been quite conservative in their numbers when it comes to lifetime, wear and tear, and so on.