This is going to be one of those blog entries where “no news” is “the news.” Storage Switzerland started testing the OCZ Deneva 2 MLC based solid state disk (SSD) drives backup on July 25th and it has been working flawlessly ever since. One of our goals is to test OCZ’s and any SSD that we work with over a long period of time. The goal is to address the long term reliability and performance concerns of solid state storage.
Reliability of SSDs is a legitimate concern for users and IT administrators to have. We have indeed seen failure on other drives but so far in constant day-to-day use, the Deneva has far been rock solid reliable. The drives have traveled across the country several times and we have had no issues what so ever. One is the core of our lab servers which runs a variety of tasks including multiple VMware sessions. This server is constantly copying data back and forth across our network. We even use the server from time to time to do production tasks like video encoding and database maintenance. All those tasks fly to completion and there has been no data loss to this point.
Performance or the loss there of has also been a concern with SSD. This occurs when a drive has been completely written to and garbage collection needs to occur. We put the drive through normal use and have not yet purposely filled the drive up. Currently one of our drives is at about 50% of capacity so we have yet to hit the tipping point where the garbage collection performance problem would begin to occur. Our reasoning was to show just how hard it is to fill a drive up under normal use. The next step though is to break with reality a bit and fill the drive all the way up so we can see the impact of that situation on performance.
The day to day use of the Deneva 2 has been fantastic. We’ve used them vs. standard hard drives, hybrid hard drives and even a RAID 0 configuration. In all cases the Deneva 2 easily out performed everything we have thrown at it. The only configuration to come close was a Thunderbolt attached RAID unit, but its performance gain was based on four drives and a much faster I/O path.
In our next entry we will do a video of a head to head real world application test between the OCZ Deneva 2 and Raid 0 configuration. Obviously we expect the OCZ to win but we want you to see by how much. Then you can decide if that faster completion time is worth the investment.
OCZ is not a client of Storage Switzerland