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Hardware Thread, SSD drives in servers in Technical; Is anyone using SSD drives in servers? I see insight have the new X25-E Intel SSD drives in stock so ...
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    zag
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    SSD drives in servers

    Is anyone using SSD drives in servers?

    I see insight have the new X25-E Intel SSD drives in stock so I was thinking about testing these out on a few servers. File I/O seems to be a bottleneck on our SQL server so was hoping to see an improvement.

    I'm more worried about data failure to be honest but with no moving parts these SSD drives seem perfect

    So does anyone have any experience using them?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    In theory you should still be able to RAID SSD hard drives. So a RAID 1 (with 2 disks) or a RAID 5 (with 3 disks or more) should be fine.

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    HP are now supporting them in their ProLiant servers, see here: HP's full flash house - Register.

    We've got a Sun 7410 storage box here that uses SSD flash accelerators for caching/logging and it does make a difference. Most of the modern SSD drives have sorted out things like wear-levelling, but personally I'd still have some concerns about flash life expectancy for something that did high I/O, not sure if this is just me being paranoid though.

    I'd read up online about the best practices as general RAID advice for HDDs may not apply to SSDs, but as long as you have some form of redundancy in there I guess it should be okay.

    Chris

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    Id avoid SSD for anything with high IO (SQL in this case).

    High IO in SQL Server is generally down to low memory, is there anyway you can increase the memory in the server? With enough memory SQL will hold asmuch as possible in memory and write out to disk as it can. Also could you go for faster SCSI drives? more smaller are better than fewer large drives.

    Paul

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    SSDís in RAID might not be good. As far as I know no raid controlers support the TRIM command and you need that to avoid SSD slow down. Assuming server OSís support TRIM. I know Vista does not and Windows 7 does. What about server OSís?

    When SSDís do fail you dont normaly lose the data like other harddrives. A failed SSD means you can read it but not write to it.

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    Rapid is the word...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube - Samsung SSD Awesomeness[/ame]

    On a similar note we're currently speccing a ssd based server with a RAM-SAN as data storage - very nice.

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    Have a look at this months Custom PC mag it has a review of ssd's and i think it has a PCI or PCI e raid card

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    Was at a VMWare workshop the other day and they're starting to use SSDs for really high performance scenarios with a lot of IOs, one SSD could outperform a whole tray of disks but they were mega pricey at the moment... the future is coming!

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    Sun have release the new FLASH Raid controller, mighty impressive.

    Specs for the 96Gb Version
    Random Read IOPS (4 K) 100 K IOPS
    Random Write IOPS (4 K) 87 K IOPS
    Sequential Read Rate (1024 K transfer size) 1092 MB/s
    Sequential Write Rate (1024 K transfer size) 494 MB/s
    Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card - Tech Specs

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Was at a VMWare workshop the other day and they're starting to use SSDs for really high performance scenarios with a lot of IOs, one SSD could outperform a whole tray of disks but they were mega pricey at the moment... the future is coming!
    If we're talking VMware then you want the flash acceleration wherever your VMs are stored, which is probably (hopefully!) a SAN rather than a server and that's where the SSDs on Sun's S7000 series come in. The open storage line is way more affordable than most SANs already, plus check out: Sun open storage slashed till Saturday

    apaton - Have you seen the F5100 Sun is apparently working on? Could be even more awesome if it ever comes out! Sun squirrels away flash drive array

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    apaton - Have you seen the F5100 Sun is apparently working on? Could be even more awesome if it ever comes out! Sun squirrels away flash drive array
    Yes seen its Lightening Fast, got to cost around £100K+ when its released can't say too much I'm under NDA
    Direct SAS attached, NO SAN, Any way a 8gb SAN FABRIC would be way too slow and you would loose all those IOPS.!

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by apaton View Post
    [...] can't say too much I'm under NDA y
    You've seen more roadmaps than me!

    Hope the Oracle/Sun merger goes smoothly, looks like Sun have got some awesome hardware in the pipeline...

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    I'm just hoping that Sun continue with their matching grant program so I can keep getting servers + other bits and pieces at BOGOF prices

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    I thought that SSD's have fewer write/rewrite cycles and failed considerablly sooner than a standard hard drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StewartKnight View Post
    I thought that SSD's have fewer write/rewrite cycles and failed considerablly sooner than a standard hard drive.
    I think that used to be the case, but as flash has developed and technologies like wear-levelling have been brought in it's no longer such an issue. Check the MTBF figures, most manufacturers are giving good numbers:

    WD Enterprise SATA Drive: 1.2m hours MTBF
    Seagate 15K SAS/FC: 1.6m hours MTBF
    Samsung Server SSD: 2m hours MTBF

    Chris

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