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The SSD we use for hosting: the Samsung PM897

As we’ve changed which SSD we’ve been using lately, it’s time to introduce you to the latest: Samsung PM897.

When RabHost was founded, we started using Samsung SM863, then moved to SM883, and now we are on PM897, their latest upgrade.

First, here’s a brief run down on why we use solid state drives for all of our web hosting and VPS.

SSDs – The Basics

I’ll be brief here – because if you’ve recently purchased a computing device you probably already know this.

In SSDs, data is stored in microchips instead of magnetic disks, making them faster than conventional hard disk drives (HDDs). SSDs are more expensive, but have higher efficiency, less energy and can be more reliable. Many other web hosting companies use SSDs, but this is often combined with HDDs, which is why our platform is so fast.

If the data can be accessed faster through the server’s processor, it means that it can be delivered faster to the user’s browser, so the pages of the website load in less time. This means that the user experience has improved. Because search engines thrive on providing results that satisfy the user, they also prefer fast-loading websites.

So SSD hosting is essential for people who want to rank well in search engines and give users a fast website that will force them to buy and return.

Why Samsung SSD?

Samsung is a global brand with a strong reputation for high standards. He has a legacy of producing high quality products that goes back to 1938.

Since the 1990’s, he has been a leader in electronic components, winning numerous awards for his products. The sheer volume of their manufacturing process adds consistency to their products. They do not suffer from the same changes in quality that can sometimes weaken small companies – [Enough Samsung fanboishness – Ed].

Could we have bought less expensive SSDs?

He immediately replied: Yes!

Other web hosting companies use cheaper SSDs, and to be fair with them, they generally perform well for hosting. Note ‘usually’ there.

The computer storage market is a good example of what you pay for. Although there are many levels of redundancy in our storage, we do not want our SSDs to ever have a problem. We don’t cut corners.

We also want our stock to grow as fast as possible without sacrificing trust. Some lesser known (and less expensive) brands of SSD have quality issues.

Finally, we are at risk on RabHost.

Our hosting is a premium product: many of our customers are web professionals who value standard hardware. You can get affordable hosting, but it will not have the level of speed and reliability that we offer. To achieve premium enterprise performance, you need to invest in the best.

Stacking up with V-NAND

SSDs use non-volatile flash memory called NAND. This means the Not / AND logic gate. The Samsung V6 (128 Layer) is a notable feature on the TLC V-NAND PM897.

‘V’ refers to the arrangement of memory cells inside the drive, which store digital data. Previously, SSD memory was created as 2D Planner NAND. The cells were spread across the chip dye in the X and Y directions: two dimensions.

V-NAND is the place where memory cells are also applied vertically (‘V’). Samsung stacked 128 cell layers. Although this third dimension provides extra space, it also keeps the total chip die size the same, so the manufacturing cost does not increase in proportion to the storage benefits.

So you get more dense, faster memory in the same silicone wafer.

Lots of scrubs with TLC

We have moved from Multi Level Sales (MLC) to Triple Level Sales (TLC). MLC means two bits stored in each memory cell, and – you guessed it – TLC means three bits.

Again, this has the effect of increasing the memory density, giving better performance in the same overall format. We had the option to use TLC when we moved to our previous SSD, SM883, but we decided against it.

The reason was that TLC was hungry for more power at that time. We take our use of power seriously, as evidenced by our 100% renewable power green hosting.

However, times have changed, and Samsung has delivered on power usage, with writing wattage like SM883, and active red power usage on PM897 (2.2W vs. 2.4W) decreased by 9%. For the service of websites, the use of ‘read’ power is of utmost importance.

Improvements in read, write, and IOPS haven’t diminished performance (the latter is especially helpful for users with demanding apps):

SM883 960 GB PM897 960 GB
Read 540 MB/s 560 MB/s
Write 520 MB/s 530 MB/s
IOPS Read 97K 97K
IOPS Write 29K 60K

That 560 MB / s reading is most available for SATA connected drives. It makes for ‘interface saturating performance’, as Samsung says.

Storage capacity: why 960 GB?

The PM897 is available in sizes ranging from 240 GB to 7.68 TB. The 960 GB model we went for has plenty of space.

We did not go with the larger 7.68 terabyte version, as multiple drives work better in the RAID configuration, as in our data centers. Thus, they are faster.

Low latency and consistency

PM897 delivers where it counts. Despite working all hours, every day, performance remains consistently low latency.

When RAID configurations are combined with multiple drives, small differences in IOPS can multiply and lead to errors or slowdowns. The PM897 provides an exceptional level of performance accuracy with an irreversible bit error rate of 1017 bits per 1 sector (which is 100 quadrillion bits!).

3+ Device Writes Per Day

No, it’s not really slow: it’s a measure of its reliability.

Device Right Per Day (DWPD) is the number that a disc can be burned to its full capacity over time. The PM897 is guaranteed to fill to capacity with data three times a day for five years. In general use in our data centers, it is unlikely that SSDs will ever receive this level of punishment.

Securing your data

PM897 includes hardware encryption management for the trusted computing group OPAL 2.0 standard. This 256-bit encryption makes it difficult for hackers to access your data.

Also, while our data centers already have multiple levels of redundancy to protect against power loss (such as backup generators), our SSDs also have their own protection.

An unexpected power outage – however unlikely – can cause problems. Data stored in SSD’s DRAM buffers may be permanently lost. DRAM is unstable, like RAM on your computer or phone.

Samsung’s Power Loss Protection (PLP) architecture protects against this by responding to power dropouts. It uses the power stored in its PLP capacitors to write buffered DRAM data to flash memory, instantly. SSD’s flash memory is not unstable, so there is no data loss, even in the worst case scenario.

The future

We haven’t had any Samsung Enterprise SSDs fail in live operation (Touchwood!) So we’re really happy with their performance. Yet technology is advancing, and so we need to keep up with it.

So will we continue to use Samsung SSDs in the future?

Despite many of these articles that seem like an advertisement for Samsung (!), We are not affiliated with or affiliated with them in any way. We do not have blind loyalty to the brand.

If something goes well, we will definitely consider it. That’s why we’ve upgraded all our SSDs twice in the last five years.

But at least for now, we’re really happy with the performance of the Samsung PM897s.

We hope you enjoy the benefits too: fast-loading websites!

RabHost offers cheap hosting in Pakistan at an exclusive discount price starting from just PKR 140 Rs/month & 550 Rs/year. Buy reliable hosting with Free Unlimited SSL & Free CDN.


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