Read Intensive, Write Intensive or Mixed Use?
These days, solid state drives (SSD Drives) are becoming far more prevalent in data storage and processing, replacing hard disc drives (HDD) in many servers. But why should you choose SSD and which is the best type of SSD for your business?
What are the benefits of SSD?
Unlike traditional HDD, SSD Drives have no moving parts such as driver heads and rotating discs. This makes them more reliable – with no mechanical failures, faster – with no latency of physical movement around the disc, and lower power – consuming just a few watts at maximum performance and a fraction of that when idle. These drives can significantly out-perform HDD in terms of I/O throughput and IOPS, significantly streamlining operations. This will make a noticeable difference to many apps and functions and make your system much more responsive. SSD are also more rugged and robust, with no issues with vibration or operating shock, making them ideal for environments in which a traditional HDD would struggle.
Although the price has fallen steadily since their introduction, SSD are generally more expensive than HDD, however many users find that the improved performance, reliability and power consumption make them worth the investment.
The three types of SSD
Depending on the nature of your business, you can choose SSD drives in three types:
- Read intensive – for web servers, media servers and others that do not write significant amounts of data each day
- Write intensive– for online transaction processing, high performance computing and ‘big data’ analytics where data is being constantly written
- Mixed use – combining the best of RI and WI to deliver the required level of performance while maximising value for money
The major difference between read and write intensive SSD Drives is their endurance. Read intensive drives use less over provisioning (spare capacity) and have less durable flash cells that hold three or four bits. This makes them cheaper, but they are only rated a small number of complete drive writes per day (DWPD) over five years. At the other end of the scale, write intensive SSD have much more over-provisioning and tend to use single bit cells. These are the most expensive, but they are rated for many more drive writes per day. Mixed use SSD fall between the two on both cost and DWPD, with a range of prices, performance and durability to match your operational mix.
Which type of SSD is right for you?
As with all business purchase decisions, you should not necessarily specify the system which does the job best, but the one which does what you require adequately at the lowest cost. You can utilise expensive write intensive SSD in any situation, but this will be vastly over-specifying in a mainly read intensive operation. However, in a write intensive environment, using a low cost, read intensive drive will quickly lead to failures and data loss.
To decide on which type of SSD is best for your business, you need to take a look at the throughput of data and I/O operations, as well as the nature of your business and how critical your data is.
ETB expertise on hand to help
The expert team at ETB have been advising customers on the best server solutions for 20 years and will be happy to work with your company help you identify the best SSD for your operations. We will ensure you get the system that delivers the performance and reliability you need, coupled with the longest possible life-expectancy, at the lowest cost.