Vulnerabilities / Threats // Insider Threats
10/5/2012
03:29 PM
50%
50%

How To Choose Best SSD For Midsize Data Centers

Solid-state disk storage effectively boosts performance in nearly any size data center, but midsize data centers have particular affordability questions.

One consistent truth we have seen about solid state disk (SSD) is that the technology can improve performance in almost any size data center. The problem for midsize data centers beginning to explore this technology is how to best afford it. The SSD vendors have a seemingly endless set of options for data centers to consider, but which one is best for the midsize data center?

Overall there are three basic ways to implement flash SSD in the environment. First, SSD can be added or installed to a server's drive bays via drive form factor solid state or via a PCIe card slot. Second, an appliance can be added to the network that either acts as a standalone storage system or as a cache for an existing storage system. And finally, SSD can somehow be integrated into a storage system.

Which one of these you should pick is largely dependent on two factors. First, how many servers are giving you a performance problem? Second, where are you in your storage refresh cycle? If you have one server that is giving you a particular performance problem, then SSD in the server is the quickest and often least expensive fix. First you have to make sure the application can leverage the flash device by having the ability to change hot-file locations, or you have to buy a caching solution (of which there are many now).

We are finding that the scenario of a single application being the only performance problem is becoming increasingly rare as the environment becomes more and more virtualized. This is especially true in the midsize data center, which tends to have much higher virtualized server ratios. If you have several virtualized hosts then a flash/SSD appliance or a hybrid storage system may be a better fit.

Flash/SSD appliances are ideal for adding to an existing infrastructure to extend the life of the current storage system. These flash-only systems have typically been out of reach of the midrange data center. Now, though, we are seeing shareable systems become available at a much lower cost and with a simple software feature set. The expectation is that you will leverage the storage management capabilities within the hypervisor instead of paying for them again in the storage system.

Hybrid systems are a new generation of storage systems that do more than just add flash to existing legacy storage solutions. They are typically custom built to support flash and its performance capability. When the time comes to refresh the storage infrastructure, these systems are well worth considering. As we will discuss in our upcoming webinar, "The Four Advantages to Hybrid Flash Arrays," these systems allow the data center to leverage the use of solid state across a wide range of physical hosts, but still leverage HDD to keep costs in check.

In reality there is no perfect single solution for all midsize data centers; much of the choice depends on where you are in your storage refresh cycle and the design of the environment. Considering that most midsize data center are highly virtualized, any SSD investment will have to have be accessible by multiple server hosts either through local servers to hypervisor coordination on a storage network.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
StorageOlogist
50%
50%
StorageOlogist,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2012 | 9:48:40 PM
re: How To Choose Best SSD For Midsize Data Centers
If you want to read more about how hybrid storage efficiently uses flash then here are a few of blog posts.

"SSD caching explained" http://blog.starboardstorage.c...

"How to choose SSD - How much is enough" http://blog.starboardstorage.c...

"Using SSD for VDI" http://blog.starboardstorage.c...

Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-1774
Published: 2015-04-28
The HWP filter in LibreOffice before 4.3.7 and 4.4.x before 4.4.2 and Apache OpenOffice before 4.1.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted HWP document, which triggers an out-of-bounds write.

CVE-2015-1863
Published: 2015-04-28
Heap-based buffer overflow in wpa_supplicant 1.0 through 2.4 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash), read memory, or possibly execute arbitrary code via crafted SSID information in a management frame when creating or updating P2P entries.

CVE-2015-3340
Published: 2015-04-28
Xen 4.2.x through 4.5.x does not initialize certain fields, which allows certain remote service domains to obtain sensitive information from memory via a (1) XEN_DOMCTL_gettscinfo or (2) XEN_SYSCTL_getdomaininfolist request.

CVE-2014-6090
Published: 2015-04-27
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the (1) DataMappingEditorCommands, (2) DatastoreEditorCommands, and (3) IEGEditorCommands servlets in IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 SP6 before EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.3 before 6.0.3.0 iFix8, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.5 iFix...

CVE-2014-6092
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 before SP6 EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.6, and 6.0.5 before 6.0.5.6 requires failed-login handling for web-service accounts to have the same lockout policy as for standard user accounts, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.