Everything about the "ruler" form factor answers customer needs and has a purpose with an advantage. Built for data centers, it gives customers an SSD with high per-drive, per-server, and per-rack capacity. Its new form factor with the intuitive latch provides improved manageability and serviceability in tandem with efficient thermal design to reduce maintenance costs and completely disrupt the total cost of ownership. The Intel "ruler" form factor is the measure of the future.
The "ruler" form factor provides fully front serviceable storage. This includes hot plug, hot removal, LED support, and a form factor that serves easy expandability.
The innovative "ruler" design also has integrated carrier, latch, and lights. To be fully front serviceable Intel developed the simple push mechanism of the ruler for users to easily pull and push the ruler within a server rack. Intel also took extra caution to design the pin pitch to ensure robustness of the connector.
The integrated programmable LEDs on the "ruler" form factor help to quickly locate failed drives, offline drives, and unpopulated slots. There is an LED for activity (input/output of data), status (warnings, temperature, failed drives), and to identify which slot a drive occupies.
Intel directly asked data center storage managers, cloud service providers, and hyperscale data center customers what was needed. The clear answer: as much capacity as possible in a 1U box, fully front serviceability, optimized thermal efficiency, power saving and space saving in order to drive down total cost of ownership for data center. The efficiency in cooling, power and density that Intel SSD ruler offers will be able to significantly improve the current data centers' challenges and contribute to the environment.
From the device level the latch part is designed to be modular to improve expandability and flexibility for our customers to easily adapt their own enclosures and latches to meet different regulation guidelines and constrains. The ruler form factor can be modified to meet the customer future needs as well: The length of the ruler can be shortened as technology evolves and the ruler can be top loaded to a server rack instead of front loaded.
1. When people thought of storage, they thought of a flat rectangle about 2.5- to 3.5-inches wide, the right size and shape to accommodate a spinning disk. This new form factor maximizes capacity while fitting into a 1U server rack for high per-drive, per-server, and per-rack capacity. A dense drive-to-drive pitch allows 32 of SSD rulers fit into a 1U server rack. This density means data centers can now fit a petabyte of storage onto a single 1U server rack which replaces twenty four 1U servers fully filled with ordinary HD.
2. Efficient thermal design enables consolidation and lower-power requirements, improving operational efficiency. When installed in a server rack, 3mm gap between the rulers allows efficient air flow through and the ruler requires up to 55 percent less airflow than legendary SSD (a U.2 15mm).
3. Fully front serviceable storage with innovative latch design, includes hot plug, hot removal, and LED support for efficient management at scale.
4. Previous SSD solutions required a technician to install SSD into a separate drive carrier prior to installation into chassis. With this new Ruler SSD form factor, the carrier (latch) integrated into the SSD, thus eliminating the need for the technician to load the drive into a carrier. This new integrated carrier is the first of its kind.
1. Creating a brand new form factor with premium and powerful Intel brand image while meeting technical constrains: Cost, easy expandability, thermal and space efficiency, weight, EMI & ESD integration, branding, shipping and server industry qualification tests.
2. Inventing fully front serviceable and customizable latch.
*Developed an intuitive push / pull latch within the tight envelope to improve both ease of insertion and extraction.
*Considered expandability / flexibility of adapting different latches for customers. The latch is a modular part that customers can easily replace and switch to a different latch type to meet their own requirements.
*Met 25G shock and vibe requirement. The ruler needs to be easily accessible when installed in a server rack, but still needs to stay firm to meet the requirement.
3. Integrating LEDs in the compact latch part that are highly visible, programmable and serviceable for technicians. Usability tests were conducted in different server rooms to finalize the LED design (LED size, color, brightness, and pitch)
4. Branding / CMF implementation while considering premium brand image, manufacturing sequences and stock issues.