Briefing Note: OCZ Intrepid 3700 – 2TB Enterprise SSD priced for Hyper-scale Data Centers

Last November OCZ introduced a new type of high-capacity SSD, the Saber 1000, designed to provide enterprise-like performance and reliability for hyper-scale data centers, at a price point closer to consumer SSDs. But many data centers still needed more, so OCZ has introduced a full-fledged enterprise drive series with excellent performance and even greater densities at economical price points.

Intrepid 3700

The Intrepid 3700 is an enterprise-class SSD series from the OCZ division of Toshiba that’s designed for read-intensive use cases needing higher capacity, but also superior endurance, reliability and performance. These include cloud-based or web-facing applications like video streaming, on-line archiving and content delivery networks, as well as read caching and indexing, VDI, etc.

Greater Density

Available in 240GB, 480GB, 960GB and 1.92TB usable capacities, the Intrepid 3700 offers new levels of storage density for web-scale data centers. This drive series uses 19nm eMLC flash, for greater reliability and a longer lifespan than MLC flash, providing a 5-year warranty, with one full drive-write-per-day (DWPD) for all configurations except the 1.92TB drive that delivers ½ DWPD.

Designed for environments that are read-heavy, this SSD isn’t designed to be subjected to as many program/erase cycles as is common with more mixed-workload (read/write) applications and therefore needs less overprovisioning to achieve these enterprise-level endurance numbers. In fact, the Intrepid 3700 has just 7% overprovisioning, instead of the 28% that’s typical for enterprise SSDs. This leaves more of the raw capacity of the NAND flash to be used for storing data, helping this drive to provide almost 2TB of usable space.

Better Performance and Reliability

The 3700 has excellent sequential read/write performance, at 540MB/s and 470MB/s respectively, and low read latency at 110 microseconds. These numbers make it ideal for read-intensive use cases, but also for many applications that need enterprise-level write performance too. Unlike the Saber 1000 the 3700 includes OCZ’s Power Loss Protection (PLP), which stops accepting writes during a power failure, using a super-capacitor to maintain a charge on the device until the controller can commit any data in the write cache to the NAND flash media.

StorageSwiss Take

OCZ filled a ‘gap’ in the hyper-scale SSD market with their Saber 1000, addressing the problem of using consumer-grade drives in cloud and enterprise environments. Since it’s introduction late last year, we’ve seen many other SSD vendors follow suit. Now, OCZ has added another option for these read-heavy use cases, the ones that need more capacity, more endurance or better overall performance – while containing costs. At close to 2TB, the Intrepid 3700 SSD can improve storage density in hyper-scale and enterprise data centers, while delivering enterprise-level functionality and solid economics.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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