News
11/22/2010
05:18 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Does SSD Make Sense In The Small Data Center?

Solid State Storage is often thought of as being used in one of two extremes. Either in the high end enterprise to acceleration databases or in the consumer netbook, smartphone market. The truth is that solid state storage can be used in a wide variety of applications in businesses of all sizes. The small data center with two to three servers should not exclude SSD from it's consideration.

Solid State Storage is often thought of as being used in one of two extremes. Either in the high end enterprise to acceleration databases or in the consumer netbook, smartphone market. The truth is that solid state storage can be used in a wide variety of applications in businesses of all sizes. The small data center with two to three servers should not exclude SSD from it's consideration.While in a recent blog we discussed the advantages of a memory module based solid state storage, this market may be an ideal match for disk form factor SSDs. This is because the small sized data center already has existing servers and may not need a SAN or certainly a large SAN with SSD just yet. Their servers often have available drive slots that the SSD can be inserted into. Finally most of these small business class servers also make adding a drive easy, while getting to the internals of the system to add an SSD card may be more challenging.

When should a small data center use SSD? Many of the use cases that we discuss in our article "Improving Storage Performance in the Medium-Sized Enterprise" also apply to a smaller data center as well. Even if you only have a sever or two adding SSD to them can greatly improve performance. In most cases this does not mean switching over entirely to SSD either but leveraging the technology as a cache or storage area for highly active but temporal data like transaction log files. Installing an SSD as a second drive and then moving those types of files to that drive can greatly improve performance of a system that is being pushed to its limits, preventing a server upgrade without dramatically changing day to day work flows. Which not only saves the cost of buying new hardware but the time and expertise required to move an application from the old server to the new.

For example several of the operating system vendors are partnering with server hardware vendors to offer preconfigured small business bundles with a few core applications like email, databases and web services already installed on the server hardware. Since many of these servers are supplied with simple SATA hard disks, as the needs of the business grow, these starter servers may exhibit performance problems that quite often can be related to storage performance. Instead of upgrading the server or even installing a faster hard drive it may make more sense to add a secondary SSD to these servers and set the applications to store those very active files on the SSD.

Even if the smaller data center is considering its first SAN to take advantage of server virtualization, a local SSD in the server can help. Most entry level SANs are iSCSI or NFS based utilizing 1GbE connections to keep costs down. The problem is that even a small data center can at times see performance issues with 1GbE connections. Leveraging an SSD to keep temporal high I/O type of traffic off of the 1GbE connection may keep those peaks from causing a performance problem.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Latest Comment: yup
Current Issue
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7441
Published: 2015-05-29
The modern style negotiation in Network Block Device (nbd-server) 2.9.22 through 3.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (root process termination) by (1) closing the connection during negotiation or (2) specifying a name for a non-existent export.

CVE-2014-9727
Published: 2015-05-29
AVM Fritz!Box allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the var:lang parameter to cgi-bin/webcm.

CVE-2015-0200
Published: 2015-05-29
IBM WebSphere Commerce 6.x through 6.0.0.11 and 7.x before 7.0.0.8 IF2 allows local users to obtain sensitive database information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-0751
Published: 2015-05-29
Cisco IP Phone 7861, when firmware from Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10.3(1) is used, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via crafted packets, aka Bug ID CSCus81800.

CVE-2015-0752
Published: 2015-05-29
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (VCS) X8.5.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL, aka Bug ID CSCut27635.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
After a serious cybersecurity incident, everyone will be looking to you for answers -- but you’ll never have complete information and you’ll never have enough time. So in those heated moments, when a business is on the brink of collapse, how will you and the rest of the board room executives respond?