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Hardware Thread, Building a new SSD based file server in Technical; Originally Posted by zag I would not use them in RAID. You just need a RAID controller that is designed ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I would not use them in RAID.
    You just need a RAID controller that is designed to work with SSDs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    You just need a RAID controller that is designed to work with SSDs.

    Build it yourself, use ZFS based OS... From the brief read I just did it seems to be fairly standard components, no hardware raid (though custom case and drive bays from what I've seen recently), will include a worked on OS, but I reckon I could put something similar together...
    Last edited by Willott; 16th October 2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: (hardware)

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    zag
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    And some more with another tool

    sims.jpg web.jpg mine.jpg

    Both the main ssd servers have been running for nearly 3 years! Amazing how time flies
    Last edited by zag; 16th October 2012 at 12:36 PM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    *homer simpson drool*

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    You just need a RAID controller that is designed to work with SSDs.
    Gosh that is server porn! Want!


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    zag
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    Also found this great quote from another forum

    Yes, well a good SSD will last a long time. That does not mean there aren't SSDs that won't last long. In fact, the OCZ Agility is a good example of how to build an SSD that won't last long.

    Firstly the difference between the Vertex and Agility was that the Agility used cheap NAND compared to the Vertex. Performance wise the difference is not big, but I wouldn't be surprised if it cut the lifetime of the Agility in half compared to the Vertex drive.

    Then there is the Indilinx controller. It was never as good as the Intel controller; it suffered from higher write amplification so it would always kill itself faster than the Intel would.

    To add insult to injury there were those GC firmware updates that aggressivly kept up performance even without TRIM. What OCZ failed to mention was that those idle-time GC routines were flash killers. All the time your drive was idling it would sit there on its own wearing out its flash. It was so bad that in later firmware updates OCZ has rolled back most of those changes. But before that a lot of extra wear was done.

    So while you can expect 15-20 years from an Intel X25-M, don't expect the Agility to match that. Also, the extra 20GB on the Intel drive matters. SSD endurance modeled on drive size is an exponential curve.


    The drive wear indicator will reach 0% when the average write cycles to the flash reaches its rating (probably 5000 p/e cycles). But that rating is a minimum rating. You can normally expect to get 2-7x write cycles over the minimum rating. Your Agility drive still has some time left.
    SSD wear (CrystalDisk Info drive health) - Overclockers Forums

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    SSD's have longer lifespans that hard disks from my experience (I run over 200 of them in school). Just as an example I've had a webserver running for about a year and a half which gets over 150,000 hits a day. Not one hint of trouble (yet).
    It's writes which are the problem, not reads. Unless your webserver something like facebook you aren't going to see many writes at all, probably less than a personal desktop PC. 200 is a school - in what, desktops or servers? Desktops, again you aren't going to see many writes at all, just initial imaging as documents/etc are on servers. Servers, unless it's a file or DB server again I can't see it doing many writes.

    I'm toying with the idea of having an SSD based profile server, which would be cheap and fast. Reliability, however, is the main issue I see with SSDs in a heavy write environment.

    One way I've heard suggested to help offset the lack of TRIM in a RAID array is to underallocate each disk in the array. How well it works I can't say.



    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    And some more with another tool

    Both the main ssd servers have been running for nearly 3 years! Amazing how time flies
    4tb of data written is nothing. Depending on your file server you could write that much just doing the initial data copy. Be careful about applying your success in web servers to file servers.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 16th October 2012 at 01:00 PM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    God, if the Agility lasts half as long as the Vertex which fails in minutes.... I hope they hurry up and go bust. They should have taken the chance to be bought out when they had it.

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    Just as a play about after the above super SAN... Anyone want to build a 5TB (suggest 2.5TB Usable) SSD SAN for ~10k in 2U? Spec list below for those interested:

    Supermicro CSE-216A-R900LPB 2U Chassis
    Supermicro X9DAi Motherboard
    2x Xeon E5-2670 8 core 2.6GHz CPU
    2x Xeon Heatsinks (Supermicro ones)
    16x 16GB PC3-10600 ECC DDR3 RAM
    2x 120GB Intel 520 SSD (Mirrored Boot)
    22x 240GB Intel 520 SSD (suggest ZFS pool of mirrored vdevs)
    3x LSI 9207-8i HBAs
    2x Intel X520-DA2 10GbE (or swap out for something higher...)

    Could always look to throw a small Fusion IODrive2 in for write caching... and upgrading to 16x 32GB sticks of RAM for bigger ARC... Use a ZFS based OS (Nexenta, Openindiana, Freenas, etc), away you go.

    But anyway... The other thing to consider is cost of replacement devices - could you buy a replacement SSD every 2 years (for example - depends on load on server and write cycles, may need to be each year) for cheaper than an enterprise device, clone your server across to the new disk and run off there (considering you're using DFS, you could happily take a server down for an hour whilst cloning...). Do a full wipe on your removed disk and stick it in a desktop around site to work out it's remaining life. And as technology advances, as you replace with a new device, you may have a bigger or more reliable device when you buy in 2 years time to replace the current one... just spitballing an idea there...

    Of course, you could look to build a shared storage device, store your files and VMs on there, and use SSD and RAM caching (feel free to ask about this if you want more info) - which may be more expensive than building an individual server, but is the way we've gone.
    Last edited by Willott; 16th October 2012 at 01:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    One way I've heard suggested to help offset the lack of TRIM in a RAID array is to underallocate each disk in the array. How well it works I can't say.
    Apologies for double posting - http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/...354_492354.pdf page 12 suggests there may be a 4x increase in write endurance for 20% over provision. Over provisioning does seem to be one way to significantly extend the life of write heavy workload SSDs.

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    zag
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    If you notice the screenshots I posted earlier, both our 3 year old X-25 SSD servers are not running trim (it wasn't available at the time). And have had no problems with performance levels at all.

    As far as I can tell they are as quick as the day we installed them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    If you notice the screenshots I posted earlier, both our 3 year old X-25 SSD servers are not running trim (it wasn't available at the time). And have had no problems with performance levels at all.

    As far as I can tell they are as quick as the day we installed them.
    But as has been mentioned - you're using them for mainly read operations aren't you? Its writes that kill drives. If you put those drives into a (high write) SQL server, or a fileserver, they'd be dead in no time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    But as has been mentioned - you're using them for mainly read operations aren't you? Its writes that kill drives. If you put those drives into a (high write) SQL server, or a fileserver, they'd be dead in no time.
    Which is why I suggested checking out the amount of data written on current file server on a daily basis (or for the past month). This will give a rough idea of the estimated life of the drive. Also, with over provisioning, you could extend the life. Just trying to find something that will give stats on windows file server for data written.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    But as has been mentioned - you're using them for mainly read operations aren't you? Its writes that kill drives. If you put those drives into a (high write) SQL server, or a fileserver, they'd be dead in no time.
    Very good point. The web server particularly is massively read only biased. Sims server probably as well. I do use a 300GB SSD on my home pc which has a massive write and read throughput though, in fact a scary amount of data has gone through that over time . Not had a problem with it for 2 years though.

    I think the basic point i'm hoping to confirm is that SSD drives simply don't "wear out". They are much more likely to die from a firmware bug or controller failure than write cycle wear and tear.

    I had a look at our Fileserver backup logs and it typically increases by around 2gb a day. That really isnt much I don't think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Very good point. The web server particularly is massively read only biased. Sims server probably as well. I do use a 300GB SSD on my home pc which has a massive write and read throughput though, in fact a scary amount of data has gone through that over time . Not had a problem with it for 2 years though.

    I think the basic point i'm hoping to confirm is that SSD drives simply don't "wear out". They are much more likely to die from a firmware bug or controller failure than write cycle wear and tear.

    I had a look at our Fileserver backup logs and it typically increases by around 2gb a day. That really isnt much I don't think.
    They do wear out - however, you can keep a close eye on how long they have left (you could probably set up a SMART monitor to check the life remaining smart code). It all depends on the write levels you're doing.

    2GB a day is how much your backups are increasing - that doesn't necessarily take into account changes to files which don't increase in size or files that increase in size, but are rewritten (or the way the read/write cycle works - Windows may rewrite the entire file, not just write the additional blocks). Still trying to find a suitable utility to give a clear picture on actual write load per day...

    But even saying that, you're probably nowehere near a full disk write per day, so I can't see if being an issue.
    Last edited by Willott; 16th October 2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: added final sentence

  16. Thanks to Willott from:

    zag (16th October 2012)

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