While it may not be summer yet, we are kicking off the start of the season with a series of hot tips. In the next three months, I will discuss “SMART” tips on selecting the best enterprise SSD for your organization. When looking for an SSD that can meet the demanding requirements of a host of enterprise applications, off-the-shelf client SSD solutions typically don’t offer the same performance, endurance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of enterprise SSDs. One of the goals we continually work on at SMART Storage Systems is delivering industry‐leading performance at a low price point that will accelerate SSD adoption in the enterprise. Therefore, I will begin the blog series with performance.
This is one of the most important characteristics to take into account when in the market for an SSD, and it varies across the spectrum. SSD performance is affected by factors such as workload and data transactions, write amplification, controller architecture, flash memory type, and over‐provisioning capacity. Evaluating each of these factors will help in the selection process for the right SSD.
When comparing SSDs, generally write performance is the most dominant factor. For instance, if you are running a Web 2.0 application with a mixed workload profile, having high read and moderate write performance is important. An SSD, such as CloudSpeed 500, is your best bet. For more write intensive workloads, such as online transaction processing (OLTP), we recommend going with an SSD that is capable of read/write speeds nearing 100K/60K like that of our Optimus Ultra SSD; otherwise, you experience longer response times and latency issues. By matching the needs of the applications you will be using most with the potential performance of an SSD, consistent and efficient performance can be achieved.
One other performance characteristic to take into consideration is performance degradation. Most SSDs succumb to serious degradation in performance as the drive ages. This is largely caused by a growing number of bad blocks, that decrease the the spare flash area where algorithms can run effectively. In the end, this can become a serious problem in the application if the impact is too great. It is imperative for algorithms to run effectively because long latency and performance degradation are unacceptable in enterprise environments. While all SSD manufacturers are working to solve the performance degradation dilemma, here at SMART Storage Systems, we have developed a way to counter performance degradation by improving the endurance of the flash and our algorithms, causing our drives performance to degrade by no more than 5 percent during the warranted 5 year life of the drive. Performance and performance degradation are directly affected by endurance, a topic that we will discuss in out next “SMART” tips post.
Needless to say, performance should be taken into consideration if you want your system to run smoothly. I encourage you to evaluate the read and write levels you anticipate to ensure you purchase an SSD that offers the best performance for your needs and environment. If you would like to take a deeper dive into SSD performance, feel free to download these documents to help you better understand SSD performance: Benchmarking & Performance Optimization and SSD Performance.
Thanks for checking out the first post in our “SMART” tips series! Tune in next month to get “SMART” on endurance.
Should you want to learn about choosing the right SSD, feel free to comment under this post or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Esther Spanjer, Director, SSD Technical Marketing, SMART Storage Systems