Pitfalls of Solid-State Hard Drives at the Enterprise Level

March 29th, 2010

Hard DriveHere at the Chad’s News Network Command Center, we haven’t yet taken plunge and purchased an SSD, even though we know it’s a simple-but-expensive way to speed up a computer. SSDs are becoming more popular, and as the prices decrease, more system administrators are thinking about using them at the enterprise level. Unfortunately, all is not well, and enterprise SSDs may not be such a good idea—or at least should cause one to take a good, hard look at their specifications.

The linked article warns about the case where an SSD’s internal transfer rate isn’t fast enough to support both its external transfers and its wear leveling activities. In such a case, the effective transfer rate will drop below the advertised rate, sometimes by a significant amount. The author also warns about using SSDs in a RAID system. The SSDs are simply too fast for the current crop of high-end RAID controllers, thus lowering the effective transfer rate of the drives due to bottlenecks in the RAID hardware.

Please note that these issues only apply to high-performance, high-traffic systems. They won’t affect the normal person with a single-user desktop or laptop computer.

Link: http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/…
(via Slashdot)

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