Enterprise video streaming is a demanding workload within the enterprise space. Companies want more HD streams with higher bit-rates and no stuttering. A storage solution well-suited for enterprise-class video delivery has completely different capabilities than something designed for databases. At the end of the day, you're basically looking for exceptional large-block sequential write performance. You also need a high level of consistency that traditionally isn't seen from consumer SSDs. For a more in-depth analysis, take a look at page 10 of Intel SSD 910 Review: PCI Express-Based Enterprise Storage.
Once the drive is in a steady state, we write its entire capacity 100 times. We use 8 MB transfer sizes and a queue depth of four, recording timestamps for each individual write. The graph below reflects 100-point averaging, so that you can better visualize the results.
The P400m really shines in our Enterprise Video Streaming test. Not only are the data points nicely packed around the average, but the only major dip is easily overcome with minimal buffering. Once you surpass the average, the required buffer goes from just a few dozen megabytes to nearly three gigabytes.
When we look at each individual write during the worst-case test run, more than 91% of the writes are in excess of Micron's specification. Zeroing in to the one-second averages, as we did with Intel's SSD DC S3700, the P400m performs admirably (although it cannot beat the consistency we saw from the Intel drive). The SSD DC S3700 gave us 90% of its one-second averages within 99% of the overall average. In contrast, only 65% of the P400m's one-second averages fall within 99% of the overall average.
Micron's P400m does much better if you compare the individual data points to the product's specification instead of overall average. In fact, 99.8% of all one-second averages are higher than this drive's write specification. A few months ago, these results would have been phenomenal. The problem is that Intel's 200 GB contender also achieves its results at a higher throughput.
|Threshold||Best-Case Buffer Size||Worst-Case Buffer Size|
|300 MB/s||8 MB||67 MB|
|320 MB/s||32 MB||71 MB|
|330 MB/s||62 MB||83 MB|
|335 MB/s||2,970 MB||2,979 MB|
This type of consistency is what we've been missing from the enterprise SSD market. Micron's P400m and Intel's SSD DC S3700 are two of the most consistent drives we’ve ever tested, and we just so happened to write about both of them within a month. It's probably no coincidence that both vendors are heavily involved in NAND manufacturing and controller firmware optimization.
- Micron P400m: Is High-Endurance MLC Here To Stay?
- Inside Micron's P400m SSD
- Extended Performance And Enhanced Reliability Technology (XPERT)
- Test Setup, Benchmarks, And Methodology
- Results: Write Endurance
- Results: 4 KB Random Performance And Latency
- Results: Enterprise Workload Performance
- Results: Sequential Performance
- Results: Enterprise Video Streaming Performance
- Micron's P400m: Reliable And Consistent; Fast Enough?