Seagate's IronWolf series of drives for network-attached storage systems has gained significant traction in its market segments. One of the primary reasons has been the breadth of offerings - high-capacity HDDs targeting different applications, as well as SATA and NVMe SSDs. In fact, Seagate was one of the first vendors to introduce SSDs targeting the prosumer / SMB / SME NAS markets with the IronWolf SSD 110 series at the 2019 CES. This 2.5" SATA SSD family was complemented by the announcement of the IronWolf 510 NVMe SSD family in Q1 2020. The SSD family, based on the Phison E12DC Enterprise SSD Controller, sported a 1DWPD rating that was not available in other SSDs targeting the prosumer / SMB NAS market.

Seagate is continuing their leadership march today with the launch of the IronWolf 525 NVMe SSDs. Based on the Phison E16 (PS5016-E16-32) PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD controller, the product appears to dial back to consumer roots with a 0.7 DWPD rating. Currently, there are no commercial off-the-shelf NAS offerings from the major vendors (Synology, QNAP, Asustor, etc.) with native PCIe 4.0 capability. The IronWolf 525 is backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0 and can slot into the same places where the IronWolf 510 is currently being used. Key confirmed specifications are captured in the table below.

The Seagate IronWolf 525 SSDs for NAS
Capacity 500 GB 1 TB 2TB
Model Number ZP500NM30002 ZP1000NM30002 ZP2000NM30002
Controller Phison E16
NAND Flash Kioxia BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Double-Sided
(22.15mm x 80.15mm x 3.58mm)
Seq. Read (128KB @ QD32) [ Normal / Sustained @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 5000 / 3300 MBps 5000 / 4350 MBps 5000 / 4300 MBps
Seq. Write (128KB @ QD32) [ Normal / Sustained @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 2500 / 525 MBps 4400 / 995 MBps 4400 / 965 MBps
Rand. Read IOPS (QD32T8) [ Normal @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 420K 760K 740K
Rand. Write IOPS (QD32T8) [ Normal @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 630K 700K 700K
Pseudo-SLC Caching Yes
DRAM Buffer 1GB DDR4 2GB DDR4
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Consumption Avg Active 5.6 W 6.5 W
Avg Sleep 20mW 20mW 30mW
Warranty 5 years (including 3 years of Rescue Data Recovery Services)
MTBF 1.8 million hours
TBW 700 1400 2800
DWPD 0.7
UBER 1E10^16
Additional Information IronWolf 525 SSD Specifications
MSRP ? ? ?

Key value additions include the IronWolf Health Management (IHM) and Rescue Data Recovery Services (DRS). The former is an embedded software application that continuously monitors drive health parameters and notifies users appropriately to reduce probability of data loss on supported NAS platforms. The 3-year complimentary DRS provides data recovery services for accidental data corruption or drive damage.

Seagate intends the IronWolf 525 NVMe SSDs to be used in commercial and entry-level enterprise NAS units, high-performance workstations, and in U.2 NVMe SSD drive bays with U.2 to M.2 adapters. These SSDs appear to have the same hardware (including the Kioxia BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC flash) as the FireCuda 520 series, albeit with modified firmware to enable the NAS-specific features such as IHM. Consequently, pricing is expected to carry a slight premium over the FireCuda 520 currently retailing for $370 (2TB), $190 (1TB), and

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  • commenter001 - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    IronWolf? More like Creepy IronZombieDog Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    I realize that, as you move from consumer to to professional to enterprise, things take longer to validate... but I'm hoping to start seeing some more Phison E18 designs than continuing to see new drives come out with E16. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    I was looking at a chart where it was showing market share in SSD market. Seagate was non existent with only 0.7% market share. The only reason that chart haven't thrown Seagate in the "Others" section, was Seagate's brand recognition, or maybe the makers of that chart wanted to laugh at Seagate by showing it's insignificance in the SSD market.

    Now I see why. 3 years of warranty, "only" 5GB/sec when it is using and it will be marketed as a PCIe gen 4.0 SSD, when others go up to 7GBs/sec and probably a high price because "We are Seagate, you know us".
    Reply
  • yannigr2 - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    Ah, it's 5 years. Good to have read that wrong the first time. Still it will be expensive. Reply
  • artspret - Saturday, October 2, 2021 - link

    True enterprise NVME drives are well over $200 or more per TB for current drives, not 2 or 3 generations old. I’m sure these will be priced accordingly. Reply
  • Tomatotech - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - link

    "The 3-year complimentary DRS provides data recovery services for accidental data corruption or drive damage"

    How is that going to work on a m.2 SSD? They're infamous for being difficult to recover data from. No platters to take out and scan, no relationship between data location and physical location. Controller remaps blocks willy nilly.

    Some shops can put the SSD into factory mode (if it's not physically damaged) for data recovery but it takes a great deal of time at great expense. I suspect the 'free' data recovery scheme consists of receiving the SSD, punting it straight into the bin, and saying 'Sorry we couldn't recover it, but if it's in warranty, here's a new one.'
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    SSDs in NAS sounds great, except for the face that small NAS units that could benefit from SSDs are stuck at 1 Gbps. We need some dual 10 Gbps or thunderbolt NAS units. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, September 23, 2021 - link

    This makes it even more perplexing why they bothered with PCIe 4.0, other than maybe because that's what the market seems to expect. For NAS usage, it should be preferable to save power & costs with a PCIe 3.0 interface. Nobody is going to notice the performance difference, even over a 10 Gbps Ethernet connection! Reply
  • Supercell99 - Thursday, September 23, 2021 - link

    0.7DWPD seems a little low for NAS device. I suppose depends on how much writes you plan and if there is a zlog etc. Might be an issue for some. Reply

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