Supermicro New Zealand Channel Newsletter
Hybrid SSD/HDD RAID
7 October 2010
The mainstream online computing storage mediums today are SATA and SAS
electromechanical hard disk drives (HDD) and Solid-State drives (SSD).
SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and it superseded the previous Parallel ATA technology at the beginning of 2007. The
electromechanical SATA HDD drives are considered to be the default,
mainstream consumer and business desktop drives that offer the benefits
of low cost, large storage capacity and good sequential read/write
So what is the big fuss? Let us summarise the points.
SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI and in a similar fashion it replaced
the aging parallel SCSI interface for high end workstations and servers
in recent years. The main benefit of 15K electromechanical SAS drives
when planning your configurations is in its increased performance over
7200RPM SATA drives in terms of random read/write performance - this
improves the performance of multi-user or multi-application servers and
any complex databases in general for increased hardware costs
and much lower storage capacity. The increased procurement cost is the
Finally the latest entry into the world of storage drives is SSD, which
generally employs NAND-based flash memory to distinguish itself from its
electromechanical SATA and SAS drive competitors. SSD drives excel in random read/write performance - the read latency improvements is
generally described to be 10x or more in abstract terms.
The missing attribute is RANDOM read performance and our solution is to
use SSD drives in standard SATA RAID arrays to offer good RANDOM read
performance as well, at a cost cheaper than using expensive SAS drives
for large storage arrays (e.g. 8TB or more).
- SATA hard disk drives in RAID arrays provide excellent SEQUENTIAL read and writes.
- Hardware RAID arrays built by Supermicro/Compucon offer good RANDOM write performance due to controller caching, where data is stored quickly in controller memory before it is commited to disk. The system can treat the data as 'stored' as the controller takes over.
Benchmark tests have
shown that we can improve Webserver performance by 5x in terms of IOPS
(Input/Output Operations Per Second), a common benchmarking unit of
measure for disk performance.
A second innovation on offer is Hybrid SSD/HDD arrays whereby
RAID 1 or 10 arrays can be built with a mix of standard HDDs and SATA
SSD drives, offering performance gains over standard HDD RAID arrays by
performing read operations from the faster SSD and write operations on
both the SSD and HDD.
Both innovations are available for our completely built &
tested solutions, delivered to your office installed with an OS and ready for your
applications. Feel free to contact the editor for further information
Supermicro New Zealand
Managed by Compucon New Zealand