Today Western Digital announced the first enterprise NVMe SSDs under their SanDisk brand. The new SanDisk Skyhawk series are 2.5" U.2 SSDs intended for datacenter use. While Western Digital's HGST division already has NVMe SSDs like the Ultrastar SN200 series and their consumer-oriented WD brand recently added the WD Black M.2 NVMe SSD, SanDisk's previous PCIe SSDs have been based on their proprietary Fusion-IO architecture.

The SanDisk Skyhawk series includes 2TB and 4TB class drives. The standard Skyhawk models have usable capacities of 1920GB and 3840GB, while the Skyhawk Ultra models reserve more spare area and offer usable capacities of 1600GB and 3200GB. All four SKUs are based on a common platform with an unspecified PCIe 3.0 NVMe 1.2 controller. Performance and power consumption ratings are substantially lower than the HGST Ultrastar SN200 series, which use Microsemi's Flashtec controllers and draw up to 25 W compared to just 10.5 W average and 12 W maximum for the Skyhawk. The SanDisk Skyhawk SSDs do not support the U.2 dual-port mode that top of the line enterprise SSDs like the HGST Ultrastar SN200 and Intel SSD DC D3600 and D3700 are capable of using, but otherwise the SanDisk Skyhawk has the usual features expected of a datacenter SSD.

 Series Specifications
  Skyhawk Skyhawk Ultra
Capacities 1,920 GB 3,840 GB 1,600 GB 3,200 GB
Form Factor 2.5"/15mm U.2
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 (NVMe 1.2)
Controller unspecified
NAND 15nm MLC
Sequential Read (128 kB QD128) up to 1500 MB/s up to 1700 MB/s
Sequential Write (128 kB QD128) up to 1170 MB/s up to 1200 MB/s
Random Read (4 kB QD128) IOPS up to 250k IOPS up to 250k IOPS
Random Write (4 kB QD128) IOPS up to 47k IOPS up to 83k IOPS
Mixed Random Read/Write
( 70%R/30%W, 4kB QD128)
up to 99k IOPS up to 150k IOPS
Average Random Read Latency (4kB QD32) 128 µs 127 µs 125 µs 126 µs
Average Random Write Latency (4kB QD32) 718 µs 1331 µs 351 µs 693 µs
Power Idle 5.6 W
Operating 10.5 W
Endurance 0.6 DWPD 0.5 DWPD 1.7 DWPD 1.2 DWPD
Encryption None
Power Loss Protection Full in-flight data protection
MTBF 2 million hours
Warranty 5 years

Pricing for the SanDisk Skyhawk SSDs has not been announced. The drives are currently sampling to select OEMs and will be generally available in Q2.

Source: SanDisk

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  • Michael Bay - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    But why no ecryption? Do they still treat it as an enterprise model diversifier? Reply
  • CaedenV - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    I imagine these drives are for RAID implementation, there is little to no point to encrypting a RAID drive as there is no real data on any single drive. The encryption would be at the RAID controller level. Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    So where is raid controllers for PCIe/NVMe? Are any actually sold? Of course you can always do software raid and run an encrypted volume on top of that. Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    Software raid makes more sense here IMO. Hardware raid is plain out silly IMO, I always use only HBA cards, no raid thanks. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    That's wrong. SED (self-encrypting drives) are useful even for RAID, because it is transparent. But there are no NVME "RAID" controllers anyways. NVMe has the controller built into the disk and the interface uses PCIE protocol. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    Even Intel's RST "RAID" for mobos is fakeraid (software) implementation, like most consumer level hardware. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, February 09, 2017 - link

    There has been raid controllers announced like HighPoint RocketStor 3830A, but I haven't actually seen any sold. Reply
  • rems - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    oooh 1.7DWPD*5years*365.25 = 4850.97TB disk life? Reply
  • rems - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    That was for the 1.6TB the 3.2TB is put at 6848.44TWTB Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - link

    A few PB write endurance is normal for a big MLC enterprise drive. Reply

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