Schulz: Using RAID can prolong SSD lifespan

RAID and solid-state storage are rarely discussed together, but in this SearchSolidStateStorage video, Greg Schulz of StorageIO talks about how a solid-state drive (SSD) lifespan could benefit as part of a properly equipped RAID implementation.

"RAID, when used in the right ways, can actually extend the life of your solid-state disk," said Schulz.

As Schulz noted, RAID systems stripe data across the drives, writing portions of files on each drive. Solid-state drives don't have mechanical components that wear out like conventional hard disks, but the process of writing data to an SSD slowly increases the amount of program-erase cycles on that drive before it is unable to store fresh data.

But RAID's striping of data across multiple drives means that no single drive has to consume all of the data being stored.

"With RAID, with that striping, I can spread the data out, particularly if I have a good RAID implementation that does grouped writes; in other words, I hold the data in cache … so I can write the data with the fewest number of writes," Schulz said. "Guess what. The net result is that if I [have] a 1 megabyte file. I'm going to spread that out equally across all those solid-state drives, increasing their lifespan, as opposed to [taking] one single drive [and having] all those writes go to that one single drive." 

"I conservatively estimate 250 PB of solid-state drives in the marketplace attached to RAID storage systems," he said. "If it really were true about RAID deteriorating solid-state drives, don't you think we would have heard about it by now?"

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