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Administrators/managers and SSD

How can a storage capacity administrator or manager use solid-state disk (SSD) in a SAN fabric to accelerate application performance?

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Solid State Disk (SSD) by its very nature is extremely fast data storage. It uses memory as data storage and therefore does not suffer from the same latency issues as spinning magnetic spindles. Data access time is measured in nanoseconds rather than milliseconds. There is no seek time or rotational latency to contend with.

So what type of application would benefit from this type of data storage? The answer is just about every application could benefit but you need to weigh the benefit of SSD against the higher cost of using it. Most uses tend to be in high performance or real-time database transaction type applications such as trading systems. One use is to use the SSD drive just like a database administrator would use system memory for "tempdb."

It would be best to be able to have the same vendor provide the capability for both SAN based magnetic media and SSD type of data storage devices. This is so it can all be managed as a single entity. The Enterprise storage vendors can do this by allocating array cache as an SSD. The method of allocating SSD in a SAN should be done with your database administrator's input. The way they want to design the application will have great bearing on how the underlying I/O subsystem should be deployed.

Chris

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This was first published in February 2002

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