HP announced one of the industry’s broadest line of 6G SAS Enterprise-quality Solid State Drives (SSDs). These drives have an HP unique feature—the HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge Utility. This intelligent tool monitors write endurance and informs customers at regular intervals on the wear out status of the their 6G SAS Enterprise SSD. With their high performance and reliability, these new drives help solve the fundamental challenge of database and high-transaction application performance by closing the gap between high-performing multi-core CPUs and the need for more hard drives that drive higher input/output operations per second (IOPS). Use these to gain a competitive advantage in database and high-transaction application opportunities.

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Enterprise Solid State Drives, warranty, and service coverage changes  
Solid State Drives (SSDs) have write limitations and once exceeded, they are no longer usable. Help customers get maximum usage of their SSDs and make them aware of changes to warranty service (that align with industry coverage limitations):

– HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge: Provides customer visibility to SSD remaining life.
– Maximum usage limitation: SSDs reaching their maximum number of writes are excluded from HP parts and materials and defective media retention coverage.
– Maximum supported lifetime: Drives covered under “box level” HP Care Packs are supported for their warranty period. Drives supported under device level care packs will not carry a maximum supported lifetime limitation.

What’s the issue?
Supporting Solid State Drives in the Enterprise is a challenge for the IT industry because of consumable properties of these devices. Solid State drives that have reached their write endurance limits are now regularly excluded from warranty and limitations have been placed on service coverage by several companies in the industry. Bottom line is that these drives have write limitations and once exceeded they are no longer useable. Useable life will vary and may depend on how much write activity is being performed.
Technical Information: Why do SSDs have lifetime write limits?
SSDs use NAND flash as their storage medium. NAND must erase before it can write. The combination of the erase and the program is called a program/erase cycle, or p/e cycle. Erasing and programming a NAND flash cell results in physical damage to the oxide layer separating the floating gate from the substrate. Therefore, NAND media is consumed over time by write activity. NAND flash devices can perform a finite number of p/e cycles.
What has changed?
In order to monitor the drive to see if it is approaching its writeable end of life, HP has new tools that can monitor a drive’s write usage.
HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge™ release: HP’s newest Enterprise SSD drives support the HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge™ allowing visibility to percentage of life consumed (percent endurance used); life remaining, given the workload to date; drive is at or near end of its useful life.
SMARTSSD Wear Gauge will be used for:
• Initial customer technology/product evaluation to determine whether solution would meet targeted service life under targeted workloads
• Runtime monitoring
• Warranty entitlement decision – did SSD fail or wear out?
SMARTSSD Wear Gauge™ has rolled out and available for many HP Enterprise SSD drives. PCIe drives are not in scope for the SMARTSSD Wear Gauge™ at this time but do have their own tools for analyzing write usage status. For more information, contact your regional marketing representative.

Service Coverage: HP Enterprise Storage and Server SSD drives will carry one or both of the following support limitations, depending on how coverage is obtained, i.e., device level coverage or enclosure level coverage.
1. Maximum Usage Limitation:
This limitation states that Solid State Drives that have reached their maximum number of p/e cycles (writes) are excluded from parts and materials coverage and defective media retention options. Drives that have been released since 1-April-2011 have this limitation in their technical data sheets or manufacturer’s operating manual. This limitation has also been added to TS data sheets. If an SSD has device level coverage, and the maximum usage limitation is exceed prior to the end of the coverage period, the customer should contact HP to remove coverage on that device.
2. Maximum Supported Lifetime:
This is the maximum amount of time that a SSD will be covered under an enclosure care pack or contract under the parts and materials coverage and defective media retention options. This is set to equal the warranty period for the device.
If a product carries a Maximum Supported Lifetime, this period will be stated in the product’s manufacturer’s operating manual or the technical product data sheet. As a general rule, going forward, ESS SSDs that are covered at the enclosure level will be supported for three years. Customers may be required to provide a dated proof of purchase to obtain support on their SSD drives. SSD drives released by HP before 1-Apr-2011 are not impacted by these changes.