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hdd's vs sshd

Posted on 2016-08-26
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Last Modified: 2016-08-29
hello everybody,

The configuration:
I'm currently running Server 2008 R2 standard with SQL 2008 that is running a software that 25 workstation connect to.  This Server is configured with two hdds mirrored in a raid 1, however one of these hard drives is going bad.

The question:
would it be better to replace the hdds with with ssds to increase performance?
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Question by:dtidwell69
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by:Nick Rhode
Nick Rhode earned 125 total points
ID: 41772137
If you are having issues with read/write speeds then yes.  SSDs are much faster and do increase performance
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 41772176
It depends. If you are using Windows Software RAID for mirroring, then yes. If you are using a RAID controller, then most probably no, as most RAID controllers don't support TRIM which is needed for SSD's.

You would have to get enterprise class SSD's whether your RAID controller supports TRIM or you are using OS software RAID, and those are still expensive.
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by:dtidwell69
ID: 41772345
So are you saying that any Enterprise SSD drive will work under any hardware raid
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by:rindi
ID: 41772362
No. For any SSD you need a RAID controller that supports TRIM (as I said there are only very few such controllers, and they are very expensive). But even if you happen to have such a controller you still need enterprise class SSD's.

If you are using OS integrated RAID, then you could use standard SSD's, but for a server you still need enterprise class SSD's.
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by:zalazar
zalazar earned 125 total points
ID: 41772427
Could you maybe tell more about the hardware configuration of your server
E.g. server type, raid controller model, hard drive type (including rpm).

If the SQL database is causing a high disk I/O and if you have the option to add more conventional hard drives then you might look at the possibility to move the SQL database data, logfiles, tempdb to new hard drives which will improve disk performance as the disk load will be spread across more disks.
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41772472
Agree with rindi's comments above.  SSDs have their own set of problems, and cliff-edge failure of the entire drive when wear leveling runs out is one of them.  RAIDing SSDs all installed at the same time could conceivably result in the entire RAID set going bad simultaneously.
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Author Comment

by:dtidwell69
ID: 41772485
with that said, can you raid 1 an HDD with an SDD
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by:rindi
ID: 41772492
Theoretically yes, but you won't get any advantage out of that, and the SSD will be very short lived. Besides, you'd have to find a capacity that fits your HD.
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Author Comment

by:dtidwell69
ID: 41772512
so are you saying that the SSD drive won't last very long? the capacity that my hard drive has is 500 gig the same as the SSD
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by:rindi
ID: 41772516
Yes, the SSD would die very soon. You'd also probably need an SSD with more than 500GB,
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by:dtidwell69
ID: 41773148
so how long do you thing the SSD's will last?
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by:rindi
ID: 41773159
Not long. Certainly it isn't worth trying.
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serialband earned 125 total points
ID: 41773852
That all depends on how heavily used your system is and how big your SSD is.  Newer SSDs have built in garbage collection and can last longer even without proper Trim support.  Trim isn't as necessary for the RAID to support if you have a very low end server that isn't very heavily impacted.

How new is your 2008 R2 server?  Does it support SSDs?  What kind of server hardware is it?  Does it get heavy disk access?  Does it have a separate data drive?  If your SQL data is on a separate drive, you're probably ok with getting SSDs for the boot disk.  Some rack mount servers with hardware RAID actually have a list of drives that they support.  You can't just plug in a random SSD and expect it to work.

If it's old and supports SSDs, and you're just extending the life by a year, then it's probably ok.  If it's getting heavily impacted with disk access, you'd probably want to get proper SSDs and hardware RAID that are meant for that, or just stick with HDs.

Whether you use SSDs or HDs, if you have a system with enough RAM, you can always turn off all disk swap and increase the performance slightly by not putting anything to disk in the first place.  That's assuming your SQL Data is on a separate data disk or that SQL data can all fit into RAM.  I suggest it's safer to stick to HDs if that's not the case..
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Author Closing Comment

by:dtidwell69
ID: 41775142
thanks everyone
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