Risky business with SSD? Now before we kick on
this topic, first let us decide what risk factor are we talking about ...
Performance, Stability, Durability, and Price?
After going through Apicella's article, I am
not sure I do agree to all of it since my experience over SSDs is a bit
different but you see this varies from situation to situation. I do agree that
SSD costs a lot more than the mechanical drives at the moment but then when you
go for an SSD, price is not your primary concern due to one very simple reason
... you are aiming for a better and far more stable solution. You see, Apicella
has benchmarked with SATA SSD drives but did not provide any feedback over SAS
based SSDs. Now as you may know that SAS drives perform better as compared to
IDE, SATA or SATA II since SATA is half duplex while SAS drives are based on
Serial Attached SCSI where we all know that SCSI drives perform RW in a duplex
mode, outclassing SATA/II in performance. I hope you are getting my point …
See! You just cannot say that SSD drives are a risky trade because of a fact
that the price difference between SSD and the conventional mechanical drives is
significant but my point is that not everyone would order an SSD. People who
ask for an SSD in their solution are actually aiming at a far more stable and LOW-RISK
solution and price to them does matter but not to the extent where they would
compromise stability over price.
Now I wouldn’t say that by plugging in a SSD, you
would get phenomenal increase in IO but it does perform quite decently as
compared to the other members of storage family. Yet again, an SSD is not just
of one type and depending on the type of SSD, performance varies.
One interesting point that I see no one giving a
thought to here is Virtualization. Now you see, when plugging in a 2.5” SATA or
SAS based SSD drive into an Intel blade server will give you a much better
performance as compared to mechanical SATA or SAS but when we talk of
virtualized storage especially coming to Intel’s Modular Servers, how well will
these drives perform? See, it’s not a discussion we can wrap up in a couple of
paragraphs and jump onto conclusions. I will post one of my researches over SSD
technology and the performance benchmarks considering the price factor in mind
but for now, I would say that SSD is expensive but then the performance gain
and stability is better than the mechanical drives which a lot of customers
actually aim for. Adding more to it, prices of SSD drives are dropping faster
than those of mechanical drives; and as such the days of the mechanical hard
drive are numbered. We are constantly hearing about the fruition of solid state
memory technologies (such as MRAM which has been theorized since the 1970's)
that provide more density and reliability, lower power, and faster write times.
Mechanical hard drives are now once again bottle-necked by technology since
perpendicular heads have become main-stream as have the corresponding aerial
density increase that accompanied perpendicular heads so these are a few simple
facts and I think it would not be fair to say that solid state upgrade is a risky business at
all. Perhaps the subject should have been, “Solid State Upgrades … Cost or Peace of Mind?"
Sorry to dig up this thread but what caught my attention is the following paragraph.....
"One interesting point that I see a lot of people reviewing SSD miss out on is, Virtualization. You see, plugging in a 2.5” SATA or SAS based SSD drive in an Intel Blade Server will give you a much better performance as compared to mechanical SATA or SAS but when we talk of virtualized storage especially coming to Intel’s Modular Servers, how well will these drives perform? See, it’s not a discussion we can wrap up in a couple of paragraphs and jump onto conclusions. In continuation of this blog, I will post one of my researches over SSD technology and the performance benchmarks considering the price factor in mind but for now, I would say that SSD is expensive but then the performance gain and stability is better than the mechanical drives which a lot of customers actually aim for."
I tried RAID 0 on 6 X25-E and here is the very dissapointing results I received from the Intel Modular Server.....
Any idea what went wrong? Could it be the cache in the Storage Controller is not enough (512MB only) ? Could it be due to the design limitation for Nand Flash not being able to perform well during asynchronous I/O? Would X25-M producing better or worse results? FYI, the above results is worse than a single drive performance......
I also received feedback that anything more than 4 SSD in a RAID will decrease in performance.....
We are very keen to use SSD as the shared storage for Intel Modular Server. I hope I did something wrong, if not, it's really tough to adopt Intel's SSD solution for IMS....