HP recently announced the industry’s first M.2 SSD for blade servers. If you’re not familiar with M.2 (pronounced M dot 2), it’s a small form factor card and connector supporting applications such as Wi-Fi, WWAN, USB, PCIe & SATA seen mostly in desktop / laptop systems. Adoption of this form factor in Tier 1 vendors is slow coming, which is why this is a big announcement for HP. Since this plugs into the system board, it avoids traversing the SAS mid-plane and allows for connectivity to the system PCIe bus supporting faster speeds (see below for details.)The HP “M.2 Solid State Enablement Kit” is available in dual and single 64 GB capacity and is compatible with HP ProLiant Gen9 blade servers only. The HP M.2 SSD is supported by the HP Dynamic Smart Array B140i Controller using software RAID. Ideally, the HP M.2 SSD would provide a platform for booting the O/S, however if disks are required on the blade server, they will be controlled by a separate HP Smart Array Controller. NOTE: There is a 120GB M.2 offering, however it is only for the HP ProLiant DL series. The BL series blade servers are limited to 64GB.
Performance Details – 64GB M.2 Enablement Kit, Read Intensive Model
|384TB Lifetime Writes (.3 Drive Writes per Day for 5 years)|
|Random Reads:||10,000 IOP/s|
|Random Writes:||710 IOP/s|
|Sequential Reads:||330 MiB/s|
|Sequential Writes:||1.9 MiB/s|
NOTE: Performance shown is for a single 64GB M.2 Enablement Kit and will vary for the Dual 64GB M.2 Enablement. For additional details, visit the HP QuickSpecs page.
If you are wondering where the M.2 SSDs fit in the server storage big picture, check out this HP slide:
Source: HP Discover 2014 Presentation, “HP ProLiant Gen9 technology deep dive”
Finally, check out this overview video provided by HP Product Management:
Kevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BladesMadeSimple.com. He has over 18 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace. Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization. Kevin works for Dell as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global Enterprise market.
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