SSD Reality

There was a great presentation from FAST 2013 about SSDs. It details critical issues that have not been addressed by many vendors. The presentation is worth watching for sure.

Now power faults might not be common, but I think the issues point to the differences in resiliency between disk drives and SSDs. What was most interesting to me was that some supposed "enterprise" SSDs did not behave in an enterprise way during the power fault tests. Sadly and not unexpectedly, the authors did not out which vendors failed and which vendors passed. I would love to know the answers, so my plan is to ask storage vendors that often test a variety of SSDs if they know.The real question is, and I have been asking this for a number of years, how do SSD vendors really test their products. There is lots of talk about IOPS and performance, but as I have said time and time again, IOPS are not the big issue in my opinion, quality is. If an SSD loses its virtual block mapping, it become nothing more than a large paperweight.Disk drive vendors have decades of experience making drives that are reliable under a variety of conditions. For this test, only two disk drives were tested. One did well, and the other was perfect. I am pretty sure that all enterprise disk drives would have passed this demanding test given what I have seen for their testing procedures.

The SSD vendors likely need to have more testing than they currently have. But since I think there will continue to be consolidation of vendors the big three disk companies might end up doing the testing.

Labels: disk drives,Storage,SSD,testing

posted by: Henry Newman

Henry Newman, InfoStor Blogger
by Henry Newman
InfoStor Blogger

Henry Newman is CEO and CTO of Instrumental Inc. and has worked in HPC and large storage environments for 29 years. The outspoken Mr. Newman initially went to school to become a diplomat, but was firmly told during his first year that he might be better suited for a career that didn't require diplomatic skills. Diplomacy's loss was HPC's gain.

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