Solid State Drives – In House Performance Stats

April 6, 2009

I love working at SoftLayer. I get to play with the newest hardware before anyone else. Intel, Adaptec, Supermicro… The list goes on. If they are going to release something new, we get to play with it first. I also like progression. Speed, size, performance, reliability; I like new products and technologies that make big jumps in these areas. I am always looking to push components and complete systems to the limits.

But alas, Thomas Norris stole my thunder! Check out his article “SSD: A Peek into the Future” for the complete skinny on the SSD’s we use. I seem to be a bit to concise for a nice long blog anyways. But not to worry, I’ve got some nifty numbers that will blow the jam out of your toes!

Solid State Drives (SSD) represent a large jump in drive performance. Not to mention smaller physical size, lower power consumption, and lower heat emissions. The majority of drive activity is random read/write. SSD drives have drastically improved in this area compared to mechanical drives. This results in a drastic overall performance increase for SSD drives.

This is a comparison of the Intel 32GB X25-E Extreme drive vs. other drives we carry. Note the massive jump in the random read/write speed of the SSD drive.

No more waiting on physical R/W heads to move around. How archaic!

Chart

Please note that no performance utility should be used to definitively judge a component or system. In the end, only real time usage is the final judge. But performance tests can give you a good idea of how a component or system compares to others.

Single drive performance increases directly translate into big improvements for RAID configurations as well. I have compared two of our fastest SATA and SAS four drive RAID 10 setups to a four drive SSD RAID 10 using an Adaptec 5405 Controller.

Chart

The Adaptec 5405 RAID controller certainly plays a part in the performance increase, on top on the simple speed doubling due to 2 drives being read simultaneously. (See my future blog on the basics or RAID levels, or check Wikipedia) .

Propeller heads read on:

The numbers indicate a multiplied increase if you take the base drive speed (Cheetah – 11.7mbps / X25-E – 64.8mbps) and double it (the theoretical increase a RAID 10 would give): 23.4mbps and 129.6mbps respectively. Actually performance tests show 27.3mbps and 208.1mbps. That means the Cheetahs are getting a 15% performance boost on random read/write and the X25-E a whopping 37% due to the RAID card. Hooray for math!

Once again, this is all performance tests and a bit of math speculation. The only real measure of performance, IMO, is how it performs the job you need it to do.

Comments

April 6th, 2009 at 10:43am

My only concern is reliability. I've read many people talk about SSDs failing after a short period of time. Since they are so new it's hard to know how reliable they will be long term.. Any thoughts?

April 6th, 2009 at 12:30pm

so.. when do you expect SL to start offering SSDs in the server packages? Would the SSD drives be compatible with current SATA based setups? As in would it be as simple as adding/replacing a drive?

I think it would make sense for servers to use SSD for the SQL data directory ... and webserver caches ...

April 12th, 2009 at 11:12am

Hi,

I don't understand, is the Intel 32GB X25-E Extreme drive the drive labeled as "32GB Intel SLC SSD" and/or "64GB Intel SLC SSD" in your order form?

April 12th, 2009 at 11:27am

Of course 32GB would be "2GB Intel SLC SSD" and 64GB "64GB Intel SLC SSD", lol!

December 17th, 2011 at 2:06pm

Sharp tnhinkig! Thanks for the answer.

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Comments

April 6th, 2009 at 10:43am

My only concern is reliability. I've read many people talk about SSDs failing after a short period of time. Since they are so new it's hard to know how reliable they will be long term.. Any thoughts?

April 6th, 2009 at 12:30pm

so.. when do you expect SL to start offering SSDs in the server packages? Would the SSD drives be compatible with current SATA based setups? As in would it be as simple as adding/replacing a drive?

I think it would make sense for servers to use SSD for the SQL data directory ... and webserver caches ...

April 12th, 2009 at 11:12am

Hi,

I don't understand, is the Intel 32GB X25-E Extreme drive the drive labeled as "32GB Intel SLC SSD" and/or "64GB Intel SLC SSD" in your order form?

April 12th, 2009 at 11:27am

Of course 32GB would be "2GB Intel SLC SSD" and 64GB "64GB Intel SLC SSD", lol!

December 17th, 2011 at 2:06pm

Sharp tnhinkig! Thanks for the answer.

Leave a Reply

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