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Why is there no TRIM for RAID SSDs?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am looking for an explanation as to why TRIM isn't supported for SSDs in RAID.

If I am understanding the situation correctly, when in RAID the storage controller is unable to pass on the TRIM commands to the SSDs due to the data being divided up. Is this correct?

If so, do we simply need to wait on the next generation of controllers? If this is not the case, what is the obstacle preventing TRIM in raid?
post #2 of 13
TRIM has to be supported in the hardware driver (in this case the RAID driver) in order for it to work, and it is not. What you can do is use SSD's that have built-in garbage collection in the drive firmware. OCZ has firmware available which supports garbage collection at the hardware level.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheyster View Post
TRIM has to be supported in the hardware driver (in this case the RAID driver) in order for it to work, and it is not.
Couldn't they (Intel, AMD, RAID card manufacturers, etc) just update their drivers to include TRIM in RAID then? Or is there some aspect of the hardware which needs to be modified? I would have thought if it was just a driver update we would probably have it by now???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheyster View Post
What you can do is use SSD's that have built-in garbage collection in the drive firmware. OCZ has firmware available which supports garbage collection at the hardware level.
From what I understand, garbage collection isn't quite as good as TRIM for a couple of reasons. One, GC is after the fact while TRIM occurs on the fly, and two, it requires you to be idle for a certain period of time before it begins garbage collection. Does TRIM require you to be idle before it begins cleanup? Is GC okay if your computer doesn't idle very often?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegetables View Post
Couldn't they (Intel, AMD, RAID card manufacturers, etc) just update their drivers to include TRIM in RAID then? Or is there some aspect of the hardware which needs to be modified? I would have thought if it was just a driver update we would probably have it by now???
Think for a moment what you are asking here. If all drivers were perfect on release and had zero bugs then we wouldnt have subsequent driver releases. The various companies are working on this capability but they cant just 'update their drivers' to support this functionality. They have to figure out how to do it, how their hardware will pass those commands, how the software will interface with the OS to pass those commands and how to properly code those commands in the drivers themselves. I'm sure they would love to just 'release an update' but there is research, trials and a lot of work put into each driver release, its unfortunately not so easy as snapping one's fingers to add in entirely new and previously unsupported functionality.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beradon View Post
Think for a moment what you are asking here. If all drivers were perfect on release and had zero bugs then we wouldnt have subsequent driver releases. The various companies are working on this capability but they cant just 'update their drivers' to support this functionality. They have to figure out how to do it, how their hardware will pass those commands, how the software will interface with the OS to pass those commands and how to properly code those commands in the drivers themselves. I'm sure they would love to just 'release an update' but there is research, trials and a lot of work put into each driver release, its unfortunately not so easy as snapping one's fingers to add in entirely new and previously unsupported functionality.
Indeed. While you get a skewed perspective on raid from being on forums like these, it is a rather uncommon phenomenon in actuality (especially in SSDland where SSDs are already considered too expensive). So to create a difficult solution to an uncommon problem without the financial benefits that will accompany such a feat is not necessarily something that will make it first priority.

One reminder, what does RAID stand for? Originally it was Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beradon View Post
Think for a moment what you are asking here. If all drivers were perfect on release and had zero bugs then we wouldnt have subsequent driver releases. The various companies are working on this capability but they cant just 'update their drivers' to support this functionality. They have to figure out how to do it, how their hardware will pass those commands, how the software will interface with the OS to pass those commands and how to properly code those commands in the drivers themselves. I'm sure they would love to just 'release an update' but there is research, trials and a lot of work put into each driver release, its unfortunately not so easy as snapping one's fingers to add in entirely new and previously unsupported functionality.
I wasn't implying they should have released an update for the drivers the day after TRIM came out. How long has TRIM been out again? Long enough for them to...

"figure out how to do it, how their hardware will pass those commands, how the software will interface with the OS to pass those commands and how to properly code those commands in the drivers themselves"

IMO
post #7 of 13
You seem to have a skewed perspective on the rate at which technology evolves and a somewhat self-involved sense of the pressures that drive those changes. TRIM isn't even natively supported on WindowsXP which I daresay is the majority OS.

Yes, it's inconvenient for enthusiasts, and hopefully there will be some progress (intel has made a minor step forward in creating a raid-TRIM for X58 board architecture), but to just expect it to immediately emerge as soon as it's identified as a minor inconvenience is... silly?
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
Yes, it's inconvenient for enthusiasts, and hopefully there will be some progress (intel has made a minor step forward in creating a raid-TRIM for X58 board architecture), but to just expect it to immediately emerge as soon as it's identified as a minor inconvenience is... silly?
It was identified as a minor inconvenience more than a year ago, maybe even two years ago. I don't get why you keep saying I expect it immediately. I just figured progress would have been made by now if it is only a software problem.
post #9 of 13
Not sure where you're getting all these numbers from, Windows 7, Linux, MacOS, BSD, none of these even supported trim much more than a year ago, despite TRIM being proposed 4 or so years ago? (I think it was created, tested, and developed to a point that it could be added to the ATA specification only 2 or so years ago to be fair). This as I said is a more relevant way of looking at the timeline of technology progression. Years of development.

If you think there was widespread uproar the moment that TRIM was introduced by everyone about it not working in raid, well, see my previous post.

It's not only a software problem., in that it's not like you just change a bit from off to on. It's an architecture problem. SSDs have been around for a while, they didn't even introduce TRIM until SSDs started gaining wider usage and people noticed their drives were crapping out over periods of time. This was a major problem in that no one will buy a performance product that becomes worse than the standard product. Time passed and a solution was created. There are other non-TRIM solutions as well as you know, and they work in RAID, but the optimal solution is optimal because of how it works, and how it works makes it difficult to implement in raid. This is a minor problem and as such will not be pressuring controller companies and manufacturers and whoever as much to rush out a solution.

One will come, and it will take time. So cool your jets or create one yourself if you consider it so simple (yes that's a trite statement I know, but fitting).
Edited by ocpokey - 4/26/11 at 2:02pm
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
Not sure where you're getting all these numbers from, Windows 7, Linux, MacOS, BSD, none of these even supported trim much more than a year ago, despite TRIM being created 4 or so years ago? (I think it was added to the ATA specification only 2 or so years ago to be fair). This as I said is a more relevant way of looking at the timeline of technology progression.
Windows 7 supported TRIM since its release in 2009. Not sure about any of those other OS's or Vista

Here is an article from March 23 2010 in which Intel added support for TRIM on a single SSD while other RAID volumes were running on the same controller. It was misinterpreted as having TRIM enabled for RAID SSDs.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...im-for-raid/16

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
If you think there was widespread uproar the moment that TRIM was introduced by everyone about it not working in raid, well, see my previous post.
Does there need to be a widespread uproar for them to make a driver for it? Were there riots in the streets before Quad SLI and CFX was supported?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
It's not only a software problem., in that it's not like you just change a bit from off to on. It's an architecture problem. SSDs have been around for a while, they didn't even introduce TRIM until SSDs started gaining wider usage and people noticed their drives were crapping out over periods of time. This was a major problem in that no one will buy a performance product that becomes worse than the standard product. Time passed and a solution was created. There are other non-TRIM solutions as well as you know, and they work in RAID, but the optimal solution is optimal because of how it works, and how it works makes it difficult to implement in raid. This is a minor problem and as such will not be pressuring controller companies and manufacturers and whoever as much to rush out a solution.
I understand it is a minor problem, however I would have thought one of these controller companies like Areca, LSI, or somebody would have solved the problem simply for bragging rights. Again look at Quad CFX and Quad SLI. Not being able to run 4 video cards is even less of a problem than not having TRIM in RAID IMO. Oh and thanks for actually answering my question in the bolded part

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
One will come, and it will take time. So cool your jets or create one yourself if you consider it so simple (yes that's a trite statement I know, but fitting).
My jets are cool, they were never hot, I never said I considered it to be simple, and I don't work for a RAID card manufacturer so I'm not about to create my own.
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