back to article In the spin of SSDs on database servers

Interest in solid state drives (SSDs) is growing as their initially terrifying price plummets: Intel recently announced a 60 per-cent reduction in the cost of its X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD since its launch last year. SSDs are attractive because they radiate less heat than traditional spinning disks, they're smaller, quieter …


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SSD Spin cycle

There's a reason why there hasn't been a single transaction-processing benchmark published on SSD. And there won't be any TPC-C or TPC-E result published either.

It's because the asymmetry of read-write performance gums up the works in any database that does any substantial amount of updates whatsoever.

Now, we do have a couple of published results for PCI-bus attached SSDs (the only ones that make any sense BTW) on the TPC-H data warehousing benchmark. That app should be a home-run for SSD because the workload consists of >95% random reads. So why then are the TPC-H systems with the best cost/performance (Kickfire, for example) still based on spinning disk?

In enterprise applications the performance advantage of SSD vs. HDD drop like a stone. The STEC Zeus-IOPS for example drops from 45,000 IOPS (advertised) to 5,000 (measured, SPC-1C/E) That's still fast, but not worth $20,000 when you can get the same number of SPC-1 IOPS from an array of 10Krpm disks costing less than $6,000. For the difference in price, you can even buy 15yrs worth of electricity to run them, not to mention several terabytes of additional capacity for "free".

I think the REAL story that you guys should be publishing is titled: "where's the beef: why SSD manufacturers like STEC refuse to publish audited application performance benchmarks."

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