5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2010 1:18 AM by Octron

    VMware and Intel MLC SSD




      I try to figure out what is the best "low-cost" solution for virtualizing Solarisx64 oracle database in VMware (around 500MB R/W operations per day MAX).


      The SLC SSD are out of my league  for now and I am very much interested in the X25-M SSD. However I am wondering how to take advantage of the TRIM which will be mandatory because of the number of R/W per day. Note that if the disk dies in 3 years from now it's not a problem, or let say that it's less of a problem than buying SLC today.


      I know that TRIM is supported by Windows 7 only for now, XP 32/64 and Vista supports this manually via the Intel toolbox.


      Now my questions are:

      - if the host is running Windows 7 will it still take benefit of the TRIM while the guest Vmware images are running anything else, in my case solaris. I mean the guest is not running windows 7 it writes into the SSD but the host is Windows 7

      - if the host is running XP and the Intel Toolbox is ran manually with the VMware guest images still running, will that restore the disk drive capacity ?


      The exact target HW is:

      - Host Operating System executed on a standard HDD

      - Guest OSs running on one or multiple SSD drives


      Many thanks in advance !


        • 1. Re: VMware and Intel MLC SSD

          As long as your VM uses a virtual file (as opposed to direct host disk access) it makes no difference which OS the guest is running.


          Running the VM with direct host disk access (to the SSD) is fatal because both TRIM and W7 itself have no idea what the VM is doing to the host file system.


          As seen from the host (W7), the VM is just another Windows application and as such, the VM disk writes are actually handled by W7. So yes, your SSD will still benefit from TRIM.


          On top of that, I found that VMs and SSDs are a perfect match. Again, run the VM on a virtual disk file only and you'll be just fine.


          Your second question: yes, running the Toolbox on top of a running VM will restore SSD speed (not capacity, I assumed you meant speed). However, I found that the VM will temporarily grind to a halt while the Toolbox optimizer is running so don't run the Toolbox while the VM is running time-critical tasks. Apart from that, there is no interference.

          • 2. Re: VMware and Intel MLC SSD

            Thanks a lot !


            Are you using SSD yourself with VMware ? If yes were you also concerned with TRIM or are you using SLC drives ? If you have MLC are you happy with performances over time ?

            • 3. Re: VMware and Intel MLC SSD

              Yes I'm running both VMware and Microsoft VM on my Postville (MLC). I don't use TRIM but I run the SSD Toolbox optimizer regularly. Speed and response times remain excellent. Be warned that MLC is not rated for professional use but it works fine all the same. For company use you might consider using SLC.


              Using a Sysinternals tool I monitored the VM writes. Writes are small, frequent and random. Exactly what the Postville likes best. I experience no degradation.


              Hope this anwers you questions.

              • 4. Re: VMware and Intel MLC SSD

                Thanks for the advice for the professional use of the MLC . I am not planning to use in a professionnal operational environment but rather as a proof of concept and demo ; if this is a success then we will probably move to SLC in production. Just need to lower the price of the demo kit as much as possible for now.


                For my information, why did you choose to run the toolbox rather having automatically TRIM executed ? Is this because of your host OS that is not compatible. I would assume that the host is not XP/Vista/7,  did you get the Intel toobox to work on a Windows 2003 Server host ?

                • 5. Re: VMware and Intel MLC SSD

                  You guessed it right. My VMs run on my workstation, which runs XP-PRO. That's because our employees have their own localized VMs with their older stuff on it. Like old compilers for old applications. No way that ICT would be willing to host all those VMs.