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ernard
Sep 23, 2011

Does it matter which SSD's you install in servers?

We're building a test server for our lab and want to play with SSD's to get comfortable with the form factor. Is there anything special I should look for? I've been told that "write endurance" is a myth and that any SSD made the last couple of years will have plenty of write cycles to keep the server running for 3-5 years.

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henyfoxe
09/23/2011

The key factor you want to check when evaluating SSD's is the "Write Endurance". And also check the wear leveling, if the manufacturer has any information on that; wear leveling is a way to help the drive to last longer. If your server is just sharing web pages, it's probably not a problem to use SSD's. But yeah, you wouldn't want to use one on a server that passed a lot of data through it (exchange server? spam filter?) because that drive would take a lot of abuse.

 

Are you going to run the drives in a RAID? Are you going to use SATA or PCIE cards or DIMM connections to run them?

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ernard
09/23/2011

Wow, thanks for your insight. It's going to be a test server for LAMP development. So basically Ubuntu, some Perl and Java, and obviously MySQL and Apache. We'll likely run SHFTP on it as well as a couple of other tools, but it's not going to be hit as hard as our production servers. We wanted to use it as a case study before implementing SSD's in a new round of servers I'm hoping to buy next year.

 

Oh we're just using SATA connections though I might be able to get the boss to spring for a RAID card. RAID1 I believe since this server won't be holding much more than 30-40gb of data for testing various database instances.

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hughye
09/23/2011

It would help to know what kind of apps you're planning on running on the server. Obviously, SSD's are fast but do not hold much capacity. There are things you can do to extend their lives - such as never optimizing, since that would run through a great number of write cycles without much performance gain in return. There may also be issues with heavy database usage, if that was why you were building this test server. But reliability has been an issue with SSD's so you want to make sure you get Intel's top-of-the-line enterprise models (like the X25-E), not the "enthusiast class" ones which sell far fewer (and thus haven't been tested as thoroughly). The enterprise models have set aside some of their storage capacity to be called into usage when parts of the device go bad, helping to provide some referential integrity.

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