PowerEdge PCIe Express Flash SSD

PowerEdge Express Flash Server
Narrow the gap between server and storage performance with Dell™ PowerEdge™ Express Flash PCIe solid-state storage device (SSD). Avoiding the mechanical limitations of a hard disk drive, Dell’s PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD can help break through I/O (input/output) bottlenecks for latency-sensitive applications.

Dell Express Flash technology is currently available for purchase on: R630, R730, R730xd, R830, R930 (Rack Servers), T630 (Tower Server), M630, FC630, M830, FC830 (Blade Servers) and we support NVMe adapter cards on FX2, C4130, C6320 and VRTX.
PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD - Flash TechnologyFlash technology
Solid-state drives (SSDs) use non-volatile NAND flash memory to store data rather than the rotating magnetic recording media of hard disk drives (HDDs). Non - volatile NAND flash drives are becoming mainstream and quickly replacing slower HDDs in many workloads and applications. Almost all SSDs today use multi-level cell (MLC) NAND, but the market is quickly transitioning to triple-level cell (TLC) 3D NAND. This newer generation 3D NAND offers ultra-high NAND density and lowers the cost of SSDs. NVMe is the industry standard protocol for PCIe based flash and can outperform SATA and SAS SSDs in all performance metrics (IOPs, throughput & latency).

SSD formats

SAS/SATA SSDs are similar to HDDs in that they use the same interface and therefore are accessed by the system through the same OS driver stack. While SAS/SATA solid-state storage devices offer significantly better performance over standard rotating-media HDDs, their performance can be limited by the latency and bottlenecks inherent in the driver stack.

PCIe solid-state storage (SSS), on the other hand, is directly connected to the PCIe bus. The bus provides a direct connection between the PCIe Flash Storage and the CPU. This tightly coupled connection provides a storage environment that has significantly lower latency than a SAS/SATA SSD.
Dell PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD
The PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD is a high-performance storage device built with enterprise-class NAND flash designed for solutions requiring low latency, high IOPS and enterprise-class storage reliability and serviceability. The Express Flash PCIe-SSD is a PCIe Gen3-compliant device that can be configured as storage cache or as a primary storage device in demanding enterprise environments, such as enterprise blade and rack servers, CCTV servers, web accelerators and virtualization appliances.
Dell PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD
Standards-based development
Dell was a driving force in standardizing NVMe PCIe-SSDs as one of eight founding members on the NVMe.org consortium. Dell was also a founding member of the SSD Form Factor Workgroup (SSD FF WG) and drove the specification and standards for the 2.5" form factor and the 2.5" PCIe-SSD connector, which facilitates a device package that enables a serviceability model equivalent to today's HDDs.

Standards-based PCIe-SSD technology enables high availability, serviceability, ease of integration and enhanced scalability, enabling you to plan ahead more efficiently with a wider choice of options while minimizing expensive customization.
Drive form factor
On your latest generation PowerEdge™ server enabled for PCIe-SSD, the PowerEdge Express Flash 2.5" PCIe-SSD form factor allows it to be plugged into a device bay. Up to eight Express Flash devices can be connected, depending on your server.

PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD - Drive form factor

PowerEdge Server

Hot-swap behavior
Dell has implemented hot-swap features and capabilities in the Express Flash PCIe-SSDs that are already employed by today’s HDDs. Dell is enabling the reliability and serviceability features that are available on standard HDDs to become a reality with PCIe-SSDs.

Dell-supported NVMe PCIe SSD hot swappable functions are defined below:

Orderly or Hot Insertion
You insert a device into a running system where a similar device has not been previously inserted from the time it was last booted. Dell systems that support NVMe PCIe SSDs are configured to handle PCIe resource balancing in the event of a hot insertion. This preset system configuration makes this type of hot insertion an orderly operation.

Orderly Removal
You remove a device from a running system. Prior to physically removing the device, you must notify the system that the device is about to be removed. This notification defines hot removal as an orderly operation.

Orderly Swap
You remove a device from the system in an orderly fashion and replace it with a supported device. The device that is removed and the device that replaced it use the same device driver.
PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD - High performanceHigh performance
The Dell PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD enables outstanding IOPS performance. Dell Express Flash technology can deliver significant improvement in IOPS over traditional HDDs. Our NVMe Express Flash devices are designed to deliver excellent throughput performance at 3.0/1.4GBps for PCIe Gen3. In addition, the Dell PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD does not burden the server’s CPU and memory with NAND flash management overhead. Flash management is provided by the device controller running firmware on a high-performance ASIC that resides within the PCIe-SSD. This architecture offers superb IOPS and throughput performance without "borrowing" server resources.

Since different workloads require different performance and endurance levels, Dell offers products at varying endurance levels measured by Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD) and Total Bytes Written (TBW) as well as products with different write performance measured in IOPs and throughput. For many ERP, OLTP, VDI and HPC workloads the “Mixed Use” product category provide a solid mix of IOPs & throughput performance, coupled with different endurance levels (5DWPD or 3DWPD), depending on customer need. Workloads with heavy read-intensive I/O requirements such as media streaming and video delivery are ideal for a read-intensive solution.

Since NAND SSDs have a finite number of program and erase cycles, Dell warrants the PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD to a maximum amount of data written to the SSD in TBW. The SSD monitors these cycles and Dell software management applications notify you when the warranty limits are reached.


You can apply Express Flash PCIe-SSD technology to a number of applications, including:
•Online transactional processing (OLTP)
•Online analytical processing (OLAP)
•Collaborative (SharePoint) environments
•Virtualization (Hyper-V)
PowerEdge Express Flash PCIe-SSD - Flexibility