Flash is replacing hard disk drives (HDDs) in more and more environments, and not just as boot drives for PCs and laptops. Enterprises are turning to a new class of high performance SATA-based drive form-factor SSDs to accelerate databases, push high-transaction processing applications and improve virtual server performance. At VMworld 2014, we spoke with OCZ Enterprise Storage about a new line of high-performance SATA SSDs that are designed for just these kinds of environments.
Flash devices like these are certainly fast but that’s not the only requirement for an enterprise-class SSD, it also has to be consistent. One of the important characteristics of enterprise-class SSDs is the ability to provide sustained performance in different environments, across different kinds of workloads, throughout the lifespan of that flash device. To do that takes an SSD technology that can deliver lower latency.
Performance, as measured by the number of I/O operations (IOPS) or Bytes transferred each second, is an aggregation of multiple transactions over time. But latency, the duration of each read or write transaction, is really the fundamental component of those performance metrics. So improving latency can have an immediate impact on all performance, in every use case scenario.
In addition to low latency, enterprise SSDs need to have the endurance to deliver that consistent performance over the entire lifespan of the product, usually 5 years. In order to do this, the manufacturer must design the device to support enough write and erase cycles that a particular use case will see.
As an example, OCZ’s Intrepid 3600 uses more cost-effective MLC NAND flash in an SSD that can deliver one drive write per day (DWPD). This means it can support enough data writes to fill the device once each day, which is sufficient for most read-intensive environments. For more write-heavy workloads, such as on-line transaction processing (OLTP), email servers or VDI, the Intrepid 3800 is a better fit. It uses eMLC flash and supports 4 DWPDs for the same 5 year duration.
This Video is Sponsored by OCZ