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How Intel Is Redesigning The Data Centers With Its New Solid State Drives

Submitted By: 

Shreepanjali Mod

Wayne Allen, the Intel data storage pathfinding team leader, likes to describe his work in simplest words, “I make it so you can save endless selfies.” It is true that all our laptops and smartphones are getting slimmer and more efficient with every passing day, the data centers are evolving at a much slower pace than that. There are a few aspects that are moving ahead in leaps and bounds but most are slogging. There is one such innovation that started few years back when Wayne and his team started out to “go figure out the best way to deploy flash in a server.”

Fig. 1: Wayne Allen, Intel’s Data Storage Pathfinding Team Leader 
(Image source: Intel Newsroom)

Flash in one of its kind of chips that keeps data safe and has proven to be one of the finest replacement for last century spinning hard disk drive. Flash is both reliable and faster than previous version and most importantly smaller than others. However, the size as well as shape of most drives is still based on old spinning disks that have been here for more than 3 decades.

This team intents to bring-in a more compact, simpler, and much more efficient Solid State Drive. They narrowed down dozens and dozens of ideas to just three and asked the customers to make a vote. The best one was termed as “ruler”. It is about 12 inches long and 1.5-inches in width. The thickness measures to be just ⅓ of an inch. It took them a long time to change the dimensions and shape of drive but it did bore some sweet fruits. They were successful in improving its density as well as thermals. By far, the thermals happen to be one of the major factors in deciding the operational costs of data centers. So, yes, the new design is a win-win for everyone. Once functional these will fit in a “1U” server slot that is 1.75 x 19 inches in height and width. Combined with latest 3D NAND technology, 32-terabyte rulers from Intel will fit in 1U space making these the slimmest and most efficient petabytes.