SQL SSD setup

Posted on 2010-01-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I'm building a new SQL Server 2008 box and was considering SSD as part of the solution.  Here's my current hardware plan:
Intel Quad Core x2
Disk #1 = RAID1 SSD (Windows Server 2008 + SQL Server 2008)
Disk #2 = RAID10 => Data File
Disk #3 = RAID10 => Log File
Redundant Gigabit Ethernet network

Is this a worthwhile use of an SSD?  I can't use them to store the entire DB.
Question by:Phil5780
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution


    For the system partition, no, it's probably not worthwhile at all. The main advantage you get from SSDs is their ability to do random reads at practically the same speed as sequential reads. An SSD is electronic, not mechanical, so you aren't required to wait for the disk to spin and the head to move for data to be read.

    If you were going to run SSDs on the database array, which DOES perform a lot of random reads and writes, you could notice significant improvements over conventional disk arrays. Again, databases such as SQL Server or Exchange Server perform a lot of random read operations which SSDs are highly efficient at performing.

    However, for the system partition, you're not going to see an awful lot of data read and written back to that once the system is booted. Sure, it will have a lot of activity during boot-up, but after that, system partitions are generally subjected to much less activity than your Database or Logs would be subjected to. As such, you're not going to notice much benefit in throwing SSDs onto it. Just about the only I/O of significance might be the page file, but I wouldn't worry too much about that; the performance improvement vs. the cost of an SSD RAID 1 over a conventional Hard Disk RAID 1 on a decent controller would, in my opinion, be difficult to argue on the performance aspect.

    If you have spare funds lying around which you are looking to spend, I would spend them elsewhere. Perhaps purchase 15 000 rpm disks rather than 10 000 rpm disks, use a server which uses SAS over SCSI, add some more RAM, a second CPU and so on.

    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    All tigermatt said I believe to be true and only a small note I will chip in...

    SSD with its advantage with random reads what be that significant if you have a lot of RAM and not many users as you will see that most of the data served comes from cache anyway. Normally I'd expect at least 90%. For that reason I'd also advise to spend the money somewhere else.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the info.  I have many users 24/7 so HDD will be my choice.  Good news since SSD costs about 30X more per gigabyte.

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