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SSD vs SAS in a server

Posted on 2014-08-31
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Hi experts,

First, as usual, my question is five times longer than necessary. Sorry. I guess I could have said SSDs vs HDDs on a server.

Well, I wrote an entire question, saved it, and now it is gone. I guess I likely didn't save it. Anyway, I would like advice from the experts as it is time to upgrade my server.

A year ago I purchased eight OCZ SSDs for all of my clients. 6Gbs. Like advertised, they had blazing speed. Of course, you can't talk about an SSD without mentioning the 14 second bootup time, which it provided. But, more importantly, Word would open instantly, My apps just appeared. It was definitely faster. I wouldn't even be writing this question had I purchased Intel or Samsung or even Crucial. I don't know why, but within two weeks three of the eight failed.

Anyway, moving on, all of my clients now have Samsung EVOs, which now have 10-year warranties. My question, obviously, is while I can take a hit on a client, I can't have my server going down out of the blue. Even in the past year, they seem more reliable.

I am on a message board for physicians and one of the users has a large computer, server and networking business. He is Microsoft-certified, etc. He has been pushing RAID 10 (not that that matters, I guess) with four Samsungs. He either uses Lenovos, Dell or custom builds them.

At least 10 physicians have gone that direction. But, I am not sure if they are reliable enough. I feel like I am comining in during the middle of the game, i.e. getting past plain HDDs but maybe SSDs that are not ready for prime time. I would hate to get a Dell that could have used SSDs and have to live with that for four or five years vs. walking in every morning wondering if it is going to running.

So, to sum it up, I am asking for opinions as to what you would do or what you are recommending to your clients. How much faster are SSDs when compared with a WD Red SAS 15K drive? My RAID 1 and RAID 5 consisting of seven drives have performed flawlewssly.

Thanks. And, I am very sorry for the length of the question.
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Question by:Bert2005
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garycase earned 900 total points
ID: 40295828
Hi Bert,

First, there aren't any "WD Red SAS 15k" drives :-)

Second, if your RAID 1 and RAID 5 are performing flawlessly, then I'd be inclined to leave them as is.    But if you want FASTER, you'll certainly get that with SSDs.    My experience mirrors yours with OCZ SSD's ... they were excellent a few years ago, but starting about 2-3 years ago, I started seeing excessive failures with them; and their support was really pretty poor.    I ONLY buy Intel and Crucial SSDs these days ... and (although I hesitate to say this for fear of Mr Murphy), I have NEVER had either of them fail.   The Samsung units are also very well rated, but I haven't tried those yet.

In any event, I wouldn't hesitate to use one of those brands in your server ... I think they're all VERY reliable, and you DO, after all, have them all in RAID configurations, so if one fails you can simply replace it and won't lose anything.    I would keep a spare drive handy ... and if your controller supports it, you could also switch to RAID-6 to be even better protected.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 40295838
I have only used Intel SSD's in production and haven't experienced issues.  Other brands I have tried - mostly in temp configurations - have been kind of hit/miss.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 40295863
For servers you just need to make sure you buy enterprise class SSD's that have been certified for your server, and if you are going to use the server's RAID controller also make sure the controller is capable of supporting SSD's. Many don't...
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 40295891
Thanks everyone,

With this new EE configuration, it didn't bother to notify me, so I could have just sat around for days. Good thing I had another question, although I do tend to check every so often.

OK, so I feel pretty stupid about the WD Reds. What do they come in.

I agree about their being compatible with your server. I would feel a little better if they were an option when you configure a Dell server. I spoke with a support tech about my RAID two weeks ago and when I asked his opinion, he was kind of on the fence.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 400 total points
ID: 40295895
OK, so I feel pretty stupid about the WD Reds. What do they come in.
The Reds are power-saving drives (translation:  slow rotational budget drives for NAS devices), so 15K is out of the question for the Red.  They will only give you headaches on real enterprise RAID controllers.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40295901
Thanks
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by:garycase
garycase earned 900 total points
ID: 40296026
The Reds are excellent drives for high-capacity NAS units; but they're only 5400rpm units, so they aren't going to have the performance you're looking for, and as PowerEdgeTech noted, are not good choices for an enterprise class RAID array.

They're a good choice for backups, or for a media server, where most data is static and is just streamed to media clients.
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Assisted Solution

by:Natty Greg
Natty Greg earned 300 total points
ID: 40299612
whatever drives you choose for whatever reason always keep a backup, its man made and they will fail some with warning and some without warning. SSD's are great for speed, however I'm always weary of new technology until it earn its keep
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 40302384
Thanks everyone. Not really a right or wrong answer; just good opinions so I spread the points around.
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