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Money aside, downside to SSD servers?

post #1 of 11
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Hello OCN,

I was wondering what is the down sides to having SSD storage on a small business server, by small I mean about 50-60 users on it with about max of 200GB used...that is MAXED.

Currently I have a Gigabit network going in this building, and the only bottleneck of the whole network is the HDDs not being able to keep up with the files being requested and transferred.

We dont use much space on the server, but everything work related is on there. The workstations alone take up about 70gb if the user copies files from server onto hard drive.

I was considering RAID 1 setup with 250gb SSD drives.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or trolling is welcomed.



Thanks in advance
Zcy
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post #2 of 11
I think it's just a higher rate of failure with SSD drives most likely. That and if an SSD drive fails the Data is gone, no chance of recovery if I am not mistaken. Whereas with an HDD even if the drive fails it is still possible to recover data off of it, if it is important enough to you. The newer SSD's of this day and age should have no problem for home server use, especially one of that size.

I think the main concern with SSD's in the past is the life cycle given the amount of data being written/re-written/deleted on a constant basis with servers. SSD's using flash memory will obviously wear out much faster in this scenario compared to a home user. I have seen some intel branded SSD's marketed towards server use claiming 15 year life cycles with constant 24/7 max usage though.

To use an SSD would be a good decision for a server that small imo, just backup data onto an HDD and everything should be peachy? I don't know all that much about this stuff though so I could be wrong.
Edited by immakulate - 9/27/12 at 1:04pm
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post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zcypot View Post

Hello OCN,
I was wondering what is the down sides to having SSD storage on a small business server, by small I mean about 50-60 users on it with about max of 200GB used...that is MAXED.
Currently I have a Gigabit network going in this building, and the only bottleneck of the whole network is the HDDs not being able to keep up with the files being requested and transferred.
We dont use much space on the server, but everything work related is on there. The workstations alone take up about 70gb if the user copies files from server onto hard drive.
I was considering RAID 1 setup with 250gb SSD drives.
Any thoughts, suggestions, or trolling is welcomed.
Thanks in advance
Zcy

What kind of files and requests?

A few HDDs in RAID should be able to saturate a 1GbE line.

If it is a lot of writes, you should consider SSDs with SLC, eMLC, or 5K MLC NAND.

The only issue I can think of is that SSDs tend to die suddenly more so than HDDs. RAID1 would help to mitigate that risk though.


Even though your building and workstations are wired for 1GbE..... have you thought about teaming some 1GbE lines from your server to the switch? This may help if your server-switch connection becomes a bottleneck.
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post #4 of 11
since you asked for trolololing
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

What kind of files and requests?
A few HDDs in RAID should be able to saturate a 1GbE line.
If it is a lot of writes, you should consider SSDs with SLC, eMLC, or 5K MLC NAND.
The only issue I can think of is that SSDs tend to die suddenly more so than HDDs. RAID1 would help to mitigate that risk though.
Even though your building and workstations are wired for 1GbE..... have you thought about teaming some 1GbE lines from your server to the switch? This may help if your server-switch connection becomes a bottleneck.




Our server stores a lot of images of shipments. When I mean a lot it is passing 1mil scans, that is what most of the space that is being taken up. Majority of the people who work here upload, review, download, or just plainly view files in that section constantly. The rest of it could be me trying to setup a new computer and transferring install iso over the network and many other small task that can add up. Currently the server is peeking 300MB/s and it is not being being push that much right now, lunch time right about now. I am trying to make sure the loads are nice and smooth since the company is still expanding and I was to check out any alternatives.

Perhaps RAID Hdds could be enough. I will have to monitor the server some more and look at HDD performance with heat output.
Edited by Zcypot - 9/27/12 at 1:17pm
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zcypot View Post

Our server stores a lot of images of shipments. When I mean a lot it is passing 100mil files, that is what most of the space that is being taken up. Majority of the people who work here upload, review, download, or just plainly view files in that section constantly. The rest of it could be me trying to setup a new computer and transferring install iso over the network and many other small task that can add up. Currently the server is peeking 300MB/s and it is not being being push that much right now, lunch time right about now. I am trying to make sure the loads are nice and smooth since the company is still expanding and I was to check out any alternatives.
Perhaps RAID Hdds could be enough. I will have to monitor the server some more and look at HDD performance with heat output.

300MB/s? 1GbE is 100-120MB/s.

Use Resource Monitor and watch for high Response Times and high Disk Queue Lengths.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

300MB/s? 1GbE is 100-120MB/s.
Use Resource Monitor and watch for high Response Times and high Disk Queue Lengths.

Sorry keep adding to many damn 0s to my numbers right now, I need lunch.

30-40MB/s, every time someone scans something they load up the database sort the files in there.

Edit:


Edited by Zcypot - 9/27/12 at 1:27pm
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zcypot View Post

Sorry keep adding to many damn 0s to my numbers right now, I need lunch.
30-40MB/s, every time someone scans something they load up the database sort the files in there.


I found a easy to follow guide to set up monitoring: http://www.ramsan.com/files/f000211.pdf

I would watch disk properties mentioned in the .pdf plus the Disk Response Time. In addition, I would monitor network traffic.


Basically, perform data collection and do analysis first. If you see the disk stats are hitting a wall, then you do have a disk bottleneck.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

I found a easy to follow guide to set up monitoring: http://www.ramsan.com/files/f000211.pdf
I would watch disk properties mentioned in the .pdf plus the Disk Response Time. In addition, I would monitor network traffic.
Basically, perform data collection and do analysis first. If you see the disk stats are hitting a wall, then you do have a disk bottleneck.

Thanks for the info I will read into this.
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post #10 of 11
+1 to what duckie said. You should be sure of what's going on before attempting a solution.

But to answer your original question - no matter what the purpose, whether server or desktop, it's not a good idea to use SSDs in RAID unless the card can properly pass TRIM requests onto the array. As of right now, the only place that's possible is on LGA1155 7 series chipsets.

If you do determine that the storage is the bottleneck, and that it is due to high queue depths, then there are two possible solutions:

Option 1: Buy a RAID card that supports SSD caching, like an LSI 9260 or 9280 card, and cache your current RAID1 array on the SSD. This way you don't have to worry about it failing or losing performance.


Option 2: Buy a RAID card and an extra HDD or two, and run them in RAID5. This will increase performance at high queue depths.


Also, being that this is a database, you should also check the cluster size you are using in the file system. With images and what not you generally get better performance from a larger cluster size, like 32kB or 64kB.
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