Intel SSD Review

It increased our productivity for performance sensitive applications from database to server virtualization.

What is most valuable?

  • Value (Price, performance, productivity benefit)
  • Plug and play vs. plug and pray compatibility with various Lenovo and Dell servers, as well as Windows, Hyper-V, VMware, and Linux systems

How has it helped my organization?

It boosted productivity for performance sensitive applications, from database to file serving, to server virtualization and other activities.

What needs improvement?

The current product is good as is. It is a great value for many environments that need or want an NVMe SSD in a PCIe AiC format (also available in U.2/8639 form factor).

However, there are also newer versions such as Optane, as well as higher-end data center class models/products from Intel.

The 750s are good for general purpose, workstations, smaller servers, or as boot device for larger systems among other options.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues. However, make sure that your server's operating systems power management features are set to high performance vs. power savings mode. Make sure to have current firmware on device, as well as drivers for your operating system or hypervisor.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues that were not expected or planned for.

For example, if you need more capacity, then buy a bigger, higher capacity version. If you want more performance, add another card or get one of the faster versions.

If you need shared storage, than get an array or appliance with SSD, or turn a server into a software-defined storage server using these cards.

The only real scalability issue I found was running out of PCIe slots in servers, or lack of server U.2/8639 slots for U.2 form factor vs. PCIe AiC devices.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support as good. I did not use technical support, however, but I did leverage the website and other online resources for drivers, firmware, and other tools.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I have used various SSD solutions, from various vendors including shared, hybrid, SAS, SATA, NVMe, U.2, and M2 among others. This was not a switch or change out, but rather an addition.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. It was very easy if you know how to install a PCIe AiC, format or add a new drive, walk and chew gum at same time, then this is a cake walk.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Check out the newer versions including Optane. Pay attention to the form factor particular with NVMe, as there are different options from PCIe AiC, U.2/8639, M.2/NGFF based cards/drives/sticks e.g., devices.

There are also workstation and low end server versions, as well as data center higher performance server variants. Shop around, look at your options, and what your needs and wants are.

Here are some additional resources to help gain insight about NVMe, SSD and related topics. and also

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used, and still use, other devices including drives (SAS, SATA) via Intel, Samsung, Crucial, Seagate as well as cards/sticks such as PCIe AIC/mSATA/M.2 from Intel, Samsung among others.

I have also used various flash SSD shared storage systems. For this application, we use a scenario of the Intel NVMe 750 which is a good price performer. It provides good value and plug and play.

Now I’m waiting to be able to try out some others (from Intel or others) to help decide for future projects.

Another consideration for this particular deployment was that the Intel NVMe 750 devices were the easiest to find and acquire, for example via vs. others.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework and be prepared. A little bit of flash SSD in the right place can go a long way to boost productivity and performance.

Get as much SSD storage space capacity as you can afford. Decide whether or not you will you be attaching via PCIe slots, or U.2/8639 or M.2 if NVMe, or SAS, SATA internal or external to a server, or if will you need an external shared storage system.

Look beyond the cost per GB. Look at what the performance can do for your workload/applications.

It is a good value, in terms of performance and benefit for many environments. However, it is no longer top of the line with newer Optane, 3D XPoint, and other options.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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