News
11/21/2008
11:45 AM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

SSD Can Mean Hard Cost Savings

In our last entry we talked about the time savings and potential increase in productivity and revenue that deploying SSD can enable. This entry we will focus on the hard cost savings associated with SSD. In the right situation, SSD can actually be less expensive than mechanical drives.

In our last entry we talked about the time savings and potential increase in productivity and revenue that deploying SSD can enable. This entry we will focus on the hard cost savings associated with SSD. In the right situation, SSD can actually be less expensive than mechanical drives.The first misnomer when comparing costs between SSD and mechanical drives is often those comparisons are to the cheapest SSD capacity vs. the cheapest drive capacity. This simply is not fair. SSD essentially has two classes of storage; Flash SSD and DRAM SSD and both deliver significantly better performance than tier one mechanical storage.

To get increased performance out of mechanical drives workarounds have been developed that are costly from both a power perspective and a physical assets perspective. Replacing these workarounds with SSD can further increase performance while reducing both power and cooling costs. In reality the price comparison should be to the very high end of tier one mechanical storage and should factor in all of these workarounds that people choose when trying to get the maximum performance out of tier one mechanical storage.

Pulling performance from mechanical drives often follows a path that while it increases performance also increases cost. Typically the first workaround for poor mechanical drive performance is to use standard array sets but with 15k RPM fiber channel drives. If this does not deliver the performance required the next step is to greatly extend the drive count, still using 15k RPM drives, but sometimes tripling or more the original set. These array groups are almost always front ended by fast storage controllers. If the system isn't a virtualized storage system that can perform wide striping, the last resort is to short stroke the drives in the array group, which formats the drives so that only the faster edge of the platter will be written to. While this will increase performance, it also severely reduces the addressable capacity of those drives.

In combination with the above techniques, performance-hungry applications will use a very high server count accessing the storage to increase parallelism. These drive configurations are now well suited to a small number of threads.

The result of all the workarounds is high acquisition, power, and cooling costs and of course a high degree of complexity, especially when compared with SSD. Depending on the environment, a choice needs to be made between Flash-based SSD (read heavy) and DRAM-based SSD (write heavy). Especially in write-heavy environments, only a fraction of the data needs to be mounted on SSD. The result is a significantly smaller disk allocation that requires less power and delivers better performance. All of this then reduces complexity.

When compared with a 50+ 15k RPM drive array that is short stroked, front-ended by multiple storage controllers, and requires a high server count for streaming, SSDs can reduce both CapEx and OpEx now. There is no need to wait for further price drop in memory.

Join us for our upcoming Webcast, SSD: Flash vs. DRAM...and the winner is?

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
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-2013-2184
Published: 2015-03-27
Movable Type before 5.2.6 does not properly use the Storable::thaw function, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via the comment_state parameter.

CVE-2014-3619
Published: 2015-03-27
The __socket_proto_state_machine function in GlusterFS 3.5 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a "00000000" fragment header.

CVE-2014-8121
Published: 2015-03-27
DB_LOOKUP in nss_files/files-XXX.c in the Name Service Switch (NSS) in GNU C Library (aka glibc or libc6) 2.21 and earlier does not properly check if a file is open, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) by performing a look-up while the database is iterated over...

CVE-2014-9712
Published: 2015-03-27
Websense TRITON V-Series appliances before 7.8.3 Hotfix 03 and 7.8.4 before Hotfix 01 allows remote administrators to read arbitrary files and obtain passwords via a crafted path.

CVE-2015-0658
Published: 2015-03-27
The DHCP implementation in the PowerOn Auto Provisioning (POAP) feature in Cisco NX-OS does not properly restrict the initialization process, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands as root by sending crafted response packets on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCur14589.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.