• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

SSD's for enterprise class server hardware

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Continuing the discussion from the other drive failure thread, oddmyth mentioned something about using SSD drives in servers...

I have been reluctant to do this because of price and unreliability, but I understand the technology has matured and SSDs are now being used in enterprise servers.

We are currently using 15k rpm SAS drives in our servers but they are reaching the end of their life cycle and will need to be replaced. We don't need large size drives for TRIBE, because it is all text and the database is pretty light since we don't store member photos and videos in it. So in our case, smaller drives would work for us.

Can we just plug SSDs into our raid controller like normal SAS drives? Or do you need special raid controllers to use SSD drives?

Recommended SSD brands for enterprise servers:
What SSD drives should I get to use in our database server?
What SSD drives can we use for our web server?
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
1. 15K SAS is bloody expensive. Even the Intel SSD's are cheaper than 15k SAS.

2. Intel SSD's are still considered the most enterprise worthy. The ones we've been using daily for three years now are rock solid. However others are doing quite well, Crucial is the other brand I use.

3. Yes you can just plug them into your SAS ports, but they are small and if you have 3.5" bays you will probably need something to mount them in the bay properly.
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
PCIE based SSD's are still far overpriced for what they are.

A product like FusionIO is really only necessary when you are looking at driving something like 500MB/s or above.

It would certainly perform the duties of a webserver and database server, but for a forum based site FusionIO would cost as much as the entire server infrastructure and be complete overkill.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ya we got fusion IO @ my work but it it is driving a shitload of analytics and hosting access to those analytics....

So kind of a specialized need - not for everyone
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

Lojack

TRIBE Member
Apart from price, the problem I have with SSD's for a server is the failure rate. A good quality enterprise disk of spinning rust can run for 5+ years. SSD's typically fail after 3 years in my experience. That's not to say there isn't a place for SSD's - they are wicked fast and great for work that requires fast-fast reads. My only recommendation is that if you go the SSD route, make sure you have RAID in place with at least one hot spare.
 

AgentSanchez

TRIBE Promoter
typically, pcie-based SSD is used (eg. fusion-io)
Absolutely not..... in an enterprise setup, PCIE based drives are almost NEVER used, unless you're talking as a one-off for a boot drive or a database store on a smaller SMB type rig.

SSD drives in any enterprise will be almost 100% SATA. You MIGHT, however, elect to use a PCIE based RAID controller that terminates in SATA ports.

Make sense? I'm happy to elaborate if not.
 
Last edited:

AgentSanchez

TRIBE Promoter
... My only recommendation is that if you go the SSD route, make sure you have RAID in place with at least one hot spare.
Actually, this is MANDATORY advice whether you use an SSD or not. If you don't elect to use RAID with a hot-spare, consider yourself warned.
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Absolutely not..... in an enterprise setup, PCIE based drives are almost NEVER used, unless you're talking as a one-off for a boot drive or a database store on a smaller SMB type rig.

SSD drives in any enterprise will be almost 100% SATA. You MIGHT, however, elect to use a PCIE based RAID controller that terminates in SATA ports.

Make sense? I'm happy to elaborate if not.
No there is actually a huge market for PCIE based SSD, its just more geared towards large enterprise, SAAS, PAAS, large VDI infrastructures, analytics, high resolution stereoscopic image playback, medical imaging technologies, military, aerospace, physics etc. etc.

The PCIE bus is much faster than the SATA bus, you can easily saturate the SATA bus with a SSD RAID array.

As I said before, unless you need to push more than 500MB/s, then you won't need PCIE based SSD technology.

Once you hit that limit though, the only way to surpass it currently is either Thunderbolt or PCIE and only one of those technologies is portable right now.

Tom's Hardware has a good writeup about PCIE SSD
Three PCI Express-Based SSDs: When SATA 6 Gb/s Is Too Slow : PCI Express-Powered Storage By Fusion-io, LSI, OCZ
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

AgentSanchez

TRIBE Promoter
No there is actually a huge market for PCIE based SSD, its just more geared towards large enterprise, SAAS, PAAS, large VDI infrastructures, analytics, high resolution stereoscopic image playback, medical imaging technologies, military, aerospace, physics etc. etc.

The PCIE bus is much faster than the SATA bus, you can easily saturate the SATA bus with a SSD RAID array.

As I said before, unless you need to push more than 500MB/s, then you won't need PCIE based SSD technology.

Once you hit that limit though, the only way to surpass it currently is either Thunderbolt or PCIE and only one of those technologies is portable right now.

Tom's Hardware has a good writeup about PCIE SSD
Three PCI Express-Based SSDs: When SATA 6 Gb/s Is Too Slow : PCI Express-Powered Storage By Fusion-io, LSI, OCZ
For specialized applications, you're not wrong. In practice, however, and relating to the topic at hand, I'd say PCIE SSD is irrelevant.

1st, PCI-E SSDs are generally stuck with software RAID and limited to the number of available PCI-E slots. Also, PCI-E is non-hot swappable. They are also generally MUCH more expensive per gigabyte, but are smokin' fast. In either an enterprise or SMB environment, you're MUCH more well-advised to go with a reputed PCI-E RAID controller and SATA drives, either Raptors or SSDs, including a hot-spare. It'll probably cost about the same and will perform comparably for any kind of high-availability/no downtime server usage. It will also give you better reliability, and be MUCH more manageable.
 
Last edited:

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
For specialized applications, you're not wrong. In practice, however, and relating to the topic at hand, I'd say PCIE SSD is irrelevant.
I already said this

Oddmyth said:
PCIE based SSD's are still far overpriced for what they are.

A product like FusionIO is really only necessary when you are looking at driving something like 500MB/s or above.

It would certainly perform the duties of a webserver and database server, but for a forum based site FusionIO would cost as much as the entire server infrastructure and be complete overkill.
1st, PCI-E SSDs are generally stuck with software RAID and limited to the number of available PCI-E slots.

Also, PCI-E is non-hot swappable. They are also generally MUCH more expensive per gigabyte, but are smokin' fast.
Newer FusionIO technology called Flashback protection, provides chip level raid and self healing, leaving the only SPOF to be the PCIE bus itself.

http://hp.fusionio.com/assets/files/datasheets/FIO_Flashback_Protection.pdf

In either an enterprise or SMB environment, you're MUCH more well-advised to go with a reputed PCI-E RAID controller and SATA drives, either Raptors or SSDs, including a hot-spare. It'll probably cost about the same and will perform comparably for any kind of high-availability/no downtime server usage. It will also give you better reliability, and be MUCH more manageable.
No one is arguing the use of RAID, but like I said there's a place for everything. I agree and initially stated the exact argument you are placing here, with the exception that I guarantee that even using some of the most expensive SSD's and a decent PCIE RAID controller, you still aren't going to hit the MSRP of FusionIO.

Personally that SPOF of FusionIO is still why I can't use it for anything other than caching, but then again, that's exactly the kind of application that its being marketed towards.
 
Top