Samsung introduces first SSD with ZNS technology

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Samsung announced on Wednesday a new SSD that comes with features Zoned Namespace technology, aimed for enterprise server use. The new PM1731a comes in a 2.5-inch form factor, with dual ports, and will be available in 2TB and 4TB options. The company used its sixth-generation V-NAND to build the SSD.

The biggest differentiation point when compared to other SSD technologies, is the introduction of ZNS technology. ZNS divides storage into independent zones, instead of saving data randomly on the disk. We recently reported on this technology, in our story about the improved performance of Western Digital ZNS SSDs combined with Percona.

A leap forward

Since the new SSD does not need to move or rearrange data, ZNS SSDs reduce the number of write operations by a significant margin, introducing new levels of efficiency and enhancing the lifespan. Samsung claimed that the new SSD can achieve a write amplification factor of close to 1.

The measurement tracks the ratio of actual writes performed by the drive, compared to the instructions sent by the host. This is a major leap forward from normal SSDs that have a write amplification factor of between 3 and 4, according to the South Korean company.

Enhanced performance and longevity

The implication here is that the PM1731a will last four times as long as conventional NVMe types. Having ZNS also makes over-provisioning or reserving storage space for background tasks unnecessary. Users will now be able to use the full storage space available. Samsung announced that it will begin mass-producing the drives in the second half of 2021.

The company said that the ZNS Technology will be made available on user library xNVMe and will appear on Intel’s Storage Performance Development Kit Community. In May, the company announced it had developed a CXL interface DRAM module and launched its first SAS-4 enterprise SSD in April.