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Solid state drives and raid

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by greenbrucelee, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I want to improve my data transfer rates, would I be right in getting 4 solid state drives and mirroring them?
     
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  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I'm not convinced there is any real benefit to RAID setups for SSDs for current home users.

    1. Its Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks !

    2. Most RAID controllers were not designed for Solid State Drives.

    I'd have thought you'd get better performance from one Intel top of the range SSD drive than 4 cheapo SSD drives.

    Do you do mainly reads and hardly any writes ? How much are you prepared to spend ?

    Benchmarks often quote peak throughput, a lot of the drives do not perform nearly as well on average and on writes.

    Of course not seen that many benchmarks so maybe i'm just sprouting hot air !

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16291
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=208896

    Personally I'm gonna wait a bit longer for the quality SSDs to get cheaper.
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The spinpoint drive I had now is pretty quick, I just thought I would get faster performance out a few solid state drives in RAID
     
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  4. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    SSDS will often give you significant boost to Random I/O but not always to sequential I/O

    RAID SSD systems are done plenty in the enterprise already, but make sure you look at something that had them in mind when it was built, a lot of newer SAS/SATA Raid cards are working well with SSDs, but you have to go to top of the line Enterprise SAN systems to find something that was built with them in mind at the moment


    You may be better off getting one of those cool PCI-E cards that take a bunch of DDR memory and turn it inot a block device

    I'll see if i can find what they were called
     
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  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Spinpoint performance is not bad but a good SSD will be far better.

    A single Intel SSD costs around £350

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=intel+x25

    So 4 with controller would cost around £1500 !

    Some cheapo £100 SSD's stutter and perform horribly under certain loads. Sequential read and writes are often better on a cheaper HD based RAID system.
     
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  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Interesting, I didn't know of PCI-E card like that. Basically my main rig (the one in my sig) is used for gaming and also contains my virtual network (win2k3, windows xp pro x 3). I have a lot of data going through it most of the time with periodic backups of data (which I am not allowed to talk about, it's a work thing) going to an external drive.

    I was thinking about going to a quad core cpu like the 9550 but also going into a mirrord setup to help with transfer rates.
     
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  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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  8. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    how about two of the velociraptors? instead of solid state.
     
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  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Depends on the task and the loads.

    Solid state are best at random reads, not bad at sequential reads.
    Some of them can do writes ok, some not.

    Then it depends how much you want to spend, two top of the range SSDs will probably win over two raptors, but they are also likely to cost double.

    RAID setups can double the seek time apparently so you need drives with low seek times.

    SAS drives usually have lower seek times than SATA drives. Raptors are probably an exception.

    RAID0 almost scales linearly, so extra drives equals extra performance, ideally you want more than two. Disadvantage is each extra disk also multiplies risk of failure and with RAID0 this could mean total data loss.
     
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  10. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    you could use Raptors in Raid 0 and back up the data to a bigger cheaper slower SATA system
    or just run the Raptors in Raid something else

    Raid 0 is going to give you the best performance, provided the card your using is any good, but remember you decrease your MTBF with Raid 0
     
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  11. Phoenix
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    lol.

    So if I did the RAID setup then RAID 0 or 1 would be my best bet, as it's safer if one drive goes. It'll be the faster option too, correct?
     
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  13. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Raid 0 is faster
    Raid 1 can often be slower than just a native disk on its own, depending on controller
    Raid 0 lowers your protection
    Raid 1 mirrors, so you have complete redundancy

    for the cost of Raptors though, Raid 0 and a backup to a 1TB SATA disk would probably work out better value for money on the $/GB scale
    remember with Raid 1 your $/GB essentially doubles
     
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  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Mirroring would give no performance increase unless you went with 4 drives then you could do RAID 1+0 or RAID 0+1.

    RAID5 is possible but need a really good controller.

    Most people at homew go RAID0 and cross their fingers and run backups...
     
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  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I think I'll get the Raptors and use RAID 0 and backup to a seperate drive. I think I'll get CPU later in the year.

    Thanks everyone :)
     
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  16. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    Sounds like a good plan GBL, however are you sure you dont want To do this
     
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  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Don't think I have the cash for that :D
     
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  18. Tomsolomon

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    Nobody use SCSI anymore then?
     
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  19. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Most servers still have SCSI drives. Also many backup drives (e.g DAT72) still use have a SCSI interface and often have their own SCSI card for increased backup performance.
     
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