In 2017 we started seeing new alternative form factors arise for SSDs. PCIe cards and U.2 drives were not designed for flash memory. M.2 drives, while useful, were designed for mobile first, not the data center. At Flash Memory Summit 2017 we showed off The Intel Ruler SSD: Already Moving Markets. Intel’s chief competitor is Samsung and the Samsung NGSFF SSD form factor is gaining momentum. Supermicro is taking advantage of the Samsung NGSFF form factor and offering a dual socket server with 36 hot-swap NVMe SSDs in front. This is a massive increase over the standard 10x 2.5″ U.2 designs we have seen which can greatly increase capacity and throughput.
Supermicro Embraces Samsung NGSFF NVMe SSDs
Supermicro is utilizing Samsung NGSFF SSDs in the Supermicro SSG-1029P-NMR36L. We are told that at launch the SSG-1029P-NMR36L will support up to 288TB. With the release of 16TB NGSFF drives later this year the company expects to hit up to 576TB or over half a petabyte in a 1U chassis.
From the system design, we can tell that the first NGSFF solution is designed around dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs with 12 DIMMs per CPU (24 total.) As these are expected to be utilized in heavy I/O environments, the server also offers 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot for high-speed networking in addition to the dual 10Gbase-T onboard NICs.
The server features a few additional features that will catch the eye of STH readers. For example, the Supermicro server can power cycle individual drives in the event that a device needs to be restarted.
This solution is very strong as it provides significantly more storage flexibility than traditional U.2 designs. It also has two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which is important for those taking advantage of 50GbE, 100GbE, or 200GbE networking or Mellanox Infiniband fabrics.