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Martin: Issues to consider when using SSD

There may be a lot of benefits when you add solid-state storage to your environment: greater speed, lower costs of energy and greater efficiency. But the technology has a new set of issues you'll need to monitor. Dennis Martin, president of Demartek, discusses those variables in this Storage Decisions video.

He noted that users of solid-state drives have to keep track of data writes to their drives, a practice that isn't necessary with hard disk. "If you've never done this before, you think, 'Hmm. Do I count the writes on my hard drives?' …this is something different."

He said that vendors have developed enterprise-class MLC (eMLC) -- an update that essentially toughens the drive against wear. "The reason it should be 'endurance MLC' is that the only thing they've done to MLC is to increase the endurance. They haven't increased the performance… but for flash, what we're after is endurance."

Another issue to be aware of is the discrepancy between solid-state reads and writes. "Writes are slower than reads, because of all that erasing they have to do. It just takes more time." He went on to say that writes are still faster than on traditional disk.

In terms of bandwidth, Martin said SSDs using SATA interfaces get up to 550 Mbps for 6 Gbps SAS or SATA interface drives. Users of SAS wide-port drives can get up to 1 Gbps. He said that another strength is the possibility of a less than 1 millisecond latency, and noted that "where SSDs really shine is actually latency."

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