ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SED SSDsProduct Guide

Author
Updated
12 Jun 2019
Form Number
LP1172
PDF size
9 pages, 121 KB

Abstract

The ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs) are high-performance self-encrypting drives (SEDs) that adhere to the Trusted Computing Group Opal Security Subsystem Class cryptographic standard (TCG Opal SSC). They use Toshaba NAND flash memory technology with a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe interface to provide an high-performance solution for secure read-intensive workloads.

This product guide provides essential presales information to understand the CM5-R NVMe SED offerings, their key features and specifications, components and options, and configuration guidelines. This guide is intended for technical specialists, sales specialists, sales engineers, IT architects, and other IT professionals who want to learn more about the SSDs and consider their use in IT solutions.

Change History

Changes in the June 12 update:

Introduction

The ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs) are high-performance self-encrypting drives (SEDs) that adhere to the Trusted Computing Group Opal Security Subsystem Class cryptographic standard (TCG Opal SSC). They use Toshaba NAND flash memory technology with a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe interface to provide an high-performance solution for secure read-intensive workloads.

The ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe solid-state drives is shown in the following figure.

ThinkSystem KCM5-R Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SED SSDs

Figure 1. ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SED SSD

Did you know?

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) provide benefits by encrypting data on-the-fly at the drive level with no performance impact, by providing instant secure erasure thereby making the data no longer readable, and by enabling auto-locking to secure active data if a drive is misplaced or stolen from a system while in use. These features are essential for many businesses, especially those storing customer data.

NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a technology that overcomes SAS/SATA SSD performance limitations by optimizing hardware and software to take full advantage of flash technology. The use of NVMe drives means data is transferred more efficiently from the processor to the drives compared to the legacy Advance Host Controller Interface (AHCI) stack, thereby reducing latency and overhead. These SSDs connect directly to the processor via the PCIe bus, further reducing latency and TCO.

Part number information

The following table lists the ThinkSystem part numbers.
Table 1. ThinkSystem ordering information
Part number Feature Description
4XB7A14058 B6K2 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 960GB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED
4XB7A14059 B6K3 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 1.92TB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED
4XB7A14060 B6K4 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 3.84TB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED

The benefits of drive encryption

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) provide benefits in three main ways:

  • By encrypting data on-the-fly at the drive level with no performance impact
  • By providing instant secure erasure (cryptographic erasure, thereby making the data no longer readable)
  • By enabling auto-locking to secure active data if a drive is misplaced or stolen from a system while in use

The following sections describe the benefits in more details.

Automatic encryption

It is vital that a company keep its data secure. With the threat of data loss due to physical theft or improper inventory practices, it is important that the data be encrypted. However, challenges with performance, scalability, and complexity have led IT departments to push back against security policies that require the use of encryption. In addition, encryption has been viewed as risky by those unfamiliar with key management, a process for ensuring a company can always decrypt its own data. Self-encrypting drives comprehensively resolve these issues, making encryption both easy and affordable.

When the self-encrypting drive is in normal use, its owner need not maintain authentication keys (otherwise known as credentials or passwords) in order to access the data on the drive. The self-encrypting drive will encrypt data being written to the drive and decrypt data being read from it, all without requiring an authentication key from the owner.

Drive retirement and disposal

When hard drives are retired and moved outside the physically protected data center into the hands of others, the data on those drives is put at significant risk. IT departments retire drives for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Returning drives for warranty, repair, or expired lease agreements
  • Removal and disposal of drives
  • Repurposing drives for other storage duties

Nearly all drives eventually leave the data center and their owner's control. Corporate data resides on such drives, and when most leave the data center, the data they contain is still readable. Even data that has been striped across many drives in a RAID array is vulnerable to data theft because just a typical single stripe in today’s high-capacity arrays is large enough to expose for example, hundreds of names and bank account numbers.

In an effort to avoid data breaches and the ensuing customer notifications required by data privacy laws, companies use different methods to erase the data on retired drives before they leave the premises and potentially fall into the wrong hands. Current retirement practices that are designed to make data unreadable rely on significant human involvement in the process, and are thus subject to both technical and human failure.

The drawbacks of today’s drive retirement practices include the following:

  • Overwriting drive data is expensive, tying up valuable system resources for days. No notification of completion is generated by the drive, and overwriting won’t cover reallocated sectors, leaving that data exposed.
  • Methods that include degaussing or physically shredding a drive are expensive. It is difficult to ensure the degauss strength is optimized for the drive type, potentially leaving readable data on the drive. Physically shredding the drive is environmentally hazardous, and neither practice allows the drive to be returned for warranty or expired lease.
  • Some companies have concluded the only way to securely retire drives is to keep them in their control, storing them indefinitely in warehouses. But this is not truly secure because a large volume of drives coupled with human involvement inevitably leads to some drives being lost or stolen.
  • Professional disposal services is an expensive option and includes the cost of reconciling the services as well as internal reports and auditing. Transporting of the drives also has the potential of putting the data at risk.

Self-encyrpting drives eliminate the need to overwrite, destroy, or store retired drives. When the drive is to be retired, it can be cryptographically erased, a process that is nearly instantaneous regardless of the capacity of the drive.

Instant secure erase

The self-encrypting drive provides instant data encryption key destruction via cryptographic erasure. When it is time to retire or repurpose the drive, the owner sends a command to the drive to perform a cryptographic erasure. Cryptographic erasure simply replaces the encryption key inside the encrypted drive, making it impossible to ever decrypt the data encrypted with the deleted key.

Self-encrypting drives reduce IT operating expenses by reducing asset control challenges and disposal costs. Data security with self-encrypting drives helps ensure compliance with privacy regulations without hindering IT efficiency. So called "Safe Harbor" clauses in government regulations allow companies to not have to notify customers of occurrences of data theft if that data was encrypted and therefore unreadable.

Furthermore, self-encrypting drives simplify decommissioning and preserve hardware value for returns and repurposing by:

  • Eliminating the need to overwrite or destroy the drive
  • Securing warranty returns and expired lease returns
  • Enabling drives to be repurposed securely

Auto-locking

Insider theft or misplacement is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes; in addition, managers of branch offices and small businesses without strong physical security face greater vulnerability to external theft. Self-encrypting drives include a feature called auto-lock mode to help secure active data against theft.

Using a self-encrypting drive when auto-lock mode is enabled simply requires securing the drive with an authentication key. When secured in this manner, the drive’s data encryption key is locked whenever the drive is powered down. In other words, the moment the self-encrypting drive is switched off or unplugged, it automatically locks down the drive’s data.

When the self-encrypting drive is then powered back on, it requires authentication before being able to unlock its encryption key and read any data on the drive, thus protecting against misplacement and theft.

While using self-encrypting drives just for the instant secure erase is an extremely efficient and effective means to help securely retire a drive, using self-encrypting drives in auto-lock mode provides even more advantages. From the moment the drive or system is removed from the data center (with or without authorization), the drive is locked. No advance thought or action is required from the data center administrator to protect the data. This helps prevent a breach should the drive be mishandled and helps secure the data against the threat of insider or outside theft.

Features

The ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe SED SSDs have the following features:

  • Industry standard 2.5-inch form factor
  • Compliant with TCG Storage Security Subsystem Class Opal Version 2.01 Revision 1
  • Toshiba 64-layer BiCS FLASH 3D TLC memory technology
  • Suitable for read-intensive workloads with an endurance of less than 1 full drive write per day (DWPD) for 5 years
  • Direct PCIe 3.0 x4 connection for each NVMe drive, resulting in up to 4 GBps overall throughput.
  • Advanced Encrypting Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption
  • Supports Sanitize Cryptographic Erase
  • Power loss protection and end-to-end data protection

SSDs have a huge but finite number of program/erase (P/E) cycles, which affect how long they can perform write operations and thus their life expectancy. Entry SSDs typically have a better cost per read IOPS ratio but lower endurance and performance compared to Mainstream and Performance SSDs. SSD write endurance is typically measured by the number of program/erase cycles that the drive can incur over its lifetime, which is listed as total bytes written (TBW) in the device specification.

The TBW value that is assigned to a solid-state device is the total bytes of written data that a drive can be guaranteed to complete. Reaching this limit does not cause the drive to immediately fail; the TBW simply denotes the maximum number of writes that can be guaranteed. A solid-state device does not fail upon reaching the specified TBW. However, at some point after surpassing the TBW value (and based on manufacturing variance margins), the drive reaches the end-of-life point, at which time the drive goes into read-only mode. Because of such behavior, careful planning must be done to use SSDs in the application environments to ensure that the TBW of the drive is not exceeded before the required life expectancy.

Technical specifications

The following table presents technical specifications for the ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe SSDs.

Table 2. Technical specifications
Feature 960 GB drive 1.92 TB drive 3.84 TB drive
Toshiba model KCM5DRUG960G KCM5DRUG1T92 KCM5DRUG3T84
Host interface PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x4
Capacity 960 GB 1.92 TB 3.84 TB
Endurance (total bytes written) 1752 TB 3504 TB 7008 TB
Endurance (drive writes per day for 5 years) 1.0 DWPD 1.0 DWPD 1.0 DWPD
Data reliability (UBER) < 1 in 1017 bits read < 1 in 1017 bits read < 1 in 1017 bits read
MTBF 2,500,000 hours 2,500,000 hours 2,500,000 hours
IOPS reads (4 KB blocks) 370,000 650,000 750,000
IOPS writes (4 KB blocks) 50,000 65,000 70,000
Sequential read rate (128 KB blocks) 3250 MBps 3250 MBps 3350 MBps
Sequential write rate (128 KB blocks) 1250 MBps 2460 MBps 3040 MBps
Latency (random read) 110 µs 110 µs 110 µs
Latency (random write) 30 µs 30 µs 30 µs
Power consumption (typical) 11W 13W 15W

Server support - ThinkSystem

The following table lists the ThinkSystem servers that are compatible.

Table 3. ThinkSystem server support
Part
number
Description 1S Rack & Tower 2S Rack & Tower 4S Rack Dense/ Blade
ST50 (7Y48/7Y50)
ST250 (7Y45/7Y46)
SR150 (7Y54)
SR250 (7Y51/7Y52)
ST550 (7X09/7X10)
SR530 (7X07/7X08)
SR550 (7X03/7X04)
SR570 (7Y02/7Y03)
SR590 (7X98/7X99)
SR630 (7X01/7X02)
SR650 (7X05/7X06)
SR670 (7Y36/7Y37/7Y38)
SR850 (7X18/7X19)
SR860 (7X69/7X70)
SR950 (7X11/12/13)
SD530 (7X21)
SD650 (7X58)
SN550 (7X16)
SN850 (7X15)
4XB7A14058 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 960GB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N Y N N N
4XB7A14059 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 1.92TB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N Y N N N
4XB7A14060 ThinkSystem U.2 CM5-R 3.84TB Entry NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 Hot Swap SSD SED N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N Y N N N

Storage controller support

NVMe PCIe SSDs require a NVMe drive backplane and some form of PCIe connection to processors. PCIe connections can take the form of either an adapter (PCIe Interposer or PCIe extender/switch adapter) or simply a cable that connects to an onboard NVMe connector.

Warranty

The ThinkSystem CM5-R Entry NVMe SED SSDs carry a one-year, customer-replaceable unit (CRU) limited warranty. When the SSDs are installed in a supported server, these drives assume the system’s base warranty and any warranty upgrades.

Solid State Memory cells have an intrinsic, finite number of program/erase cycles that each cell can incur. As a result, each solid state device has a maximum amount of program/erase cycles to which it can be subjected. The warranty for Lenovo solid state drives (SSDs) is limited to drives that have not reached the maximum guaranteed number of program/erase cycles, as documented in the Official Published Specifications for the SSD product. A drive that reaches this limit may fail to operate according to its Specifications.

Physical specifications

The drives have the following physical specifications (approximate, without the tray):

  • Height: 15 mm (0.6 in.)
  • Width: 70 mm (2.8 in.)
  • Depth: 100 mm (4.0 in.)
  • Weight: 130 g (5.3 oz)

Operating environment

The SSDs are supported in the following environment:

  • Operating temperature: 0 to 60°C (32 to 140°F)
  • Non-operating temperature: -40 to 85°C (-40 to 185°F)
  • Relative humidity: 5 to 95% (non-condensing)
  • Shock, operating: 1,000 G (Max) at 0.5 ms duration
  • Vibration, operating: 2.17 GRMS (5-800 Hz)

Agency approvals

The SSDs conform to the following regulations:

  • Underwriters Laboratories: UL60950-1
  • Canada: CAN/CSA-C22.2 No.60950-1
  • TUV: EN 60950-1
  • BSMI (Taiwan): CNS 13438 (CISPR Pub. 22 Class B): D33003
  • MSIP: KN22, KN24 (CISPR Pub. 22 Class B)
  • Australia/New Zealand: AS/NZS CISPR32:2015 Class B
  • Canada: ICES-003 Issue 6 Class B
  • EMC: EN55022 (2010) Class B
  • EMC: EN55024 (2010)
  • RoHS 2011/65/EU: EN50581 (2012) Category 3

Related product families

Product families related to this document are the following:

Trademarks

Lenovo and the Lenovo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lenovo in the United States, other countries, or both. A current list of Lenovo trademarks is available on the Web at https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/legal/copytrade/.

The following terms are trademarks of Lenovo in the United States, other countries, or both:
Lenovo®
ThinkSystem

Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.