An anonymous reader quotes a report from Tom’s Hardware: Western Digital is one of the most vocal proponents of the Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) storage initiative, so it is not surprising that the company this week became the first SSD maker to start sampling of a ZNS SSD. When used properly, the Ultrastar DC ZN540 drive can replace up to four conventional SSDs, provide higher performance and improve quality of service (QoS). ZNS SSDs have a number of advantages over traditional block-based SSDs. For one, they place data sequentially into zones and have better control over write amplification, since the software ‘knows’ what it is dealing with. This means that ZNS SSDs don’t need as much overprovisioning as traditional enterprise drives. Many enterprise drives rated for 3DWPD (drive writes per day) reserve up to 28% of their raw capacity for overprovisioning. ZNS needing as little as a tenth of that significantly increases usable SSD capacity. Second, since ZNS manages large zones rather than a bunch of 4KB blocks and doesn’t need to perform garbage collection as often as traditional SSDs, it also improves real-world read and write performance. Finally, ZNS substantially reduces DRAM requirements.

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