File System Alignment for SSDs
There are many techniques and methods that can be used to tune an IT system
to improve overall system performance. SSD caching is widely being used as
a low cost, easy to implement method to quickly increase performance with
little or no impact on existing operations. One thing that needs to be
considered when choosing SSD caching is how to configure a file system to
maximize the performance increase SSD caching provides.
Operating Systems and Block Size
In the past few years, the sector size of HDDs has increased from 512 bytes
to 4k bytes. Relatively new operating systems (e.g. Windows Server 2008 R2
to present) have evolved to work with this not-so-new sector size to take
advantage of higher density drives. Problems, however, can occur for older
operating systems that were not designed to work with the larger block size
devices. ... (more)
George Crump from Storage Switzerland recently wrote an article, arguing that
it is better to deploy SSDs in a storage array instead of as a server cache.
The article was sponsored by Pure Storage which happens to sell SSD based
George identifies challenges with SSD caching and tiering solutions. While
some of the topics he raised in the article are valid, he does not present
all sides of these topics. As a result, the article contains positions that
overstate the magnitude of the problems and may lead the reader to the wrong
conclusion. I would like to present ... (more)
Disruptive technology is a term used to describe an idea or invention that
typically disrupts an existing market, often completely displacing an earlier
technology. Sometimes disruptive is great (e.g. digital cameras and cell
phones), and sometimes disruptive is not so great (e.g. laser video disks).
SSDs are a disruptive technology in that they are clearly changing the
enterprise storage market. The verdict is still out on just how disruptive
SSDs will be; as is the case with many disruptive technologies, it is going
to take some time to figure out exactly what to do with SSD... (more)
Dr Dog Says “You Need More RAM In Your Cache Diet”
Well, I am not really a doctor, but I play one on TV. You may remember (if
you are old enough) that line from the 1986 Vicks-44 TV commercial. Anyway,
while I may not be a real doctor, I can certainly tell you about why you need
more RAM in you cache diet.
“I Think My Cache Diet Is Great”
If you were happily running your IT system but needed some additional
performance, chances are you turned to some kind of SSD caching solution to
improve performance at a lower cost point than adding more servers or
storage. You went on what I a... (more)
Solid State Disk (SSD) technology is one of the hottest IT areas in 2012. The
promise to eliminate storage IO bottlenecks and increase application
performance, enable server virtualization, enable data center growth, and
reduce IT costs has prompted 83% of all IT departments to consider SSD. But
those planning an SSD deployment face a variety of deployment choices.
Moreover, choosing poorly can yield large expense, disruption to existing IT
environments, and a complex new set of storage management tasks.
Join Brian Garrett, Vice President at the Enterprise Strategy Gro... (more)