Decision makers may spend time comparing the performance of one computer or server to another before purchasing it, but, what about the speed of the storage system? Think about it like this. You’re getting paid to haul a valuable load of cargo from inside one warehouse to inside a second warehouse. The faster you complete this task the more you get paid.
The truck you use is the server. The warehouses are the storage system. You have invested in a fast, reliable truck so your set. Right? Except the doors on the first warehouse are hard to open, the load you need to pick up is stacked behind other material that has to be moved before you can get to your load and when you get to the second warehouse there is a guard that wants several pages of questions answered before he will let you unload. Was it the truck that slowed you down?
Just like the valuable load was stored in the warehouses, your valuable data lives on your server’s storage space. Get a fast, reliable server, but, choose slow storage space and your performance may not be what you expect. Solid State Drives (SSDs) are attractive as storage devices for two fundamental reasons – they are incredibly fast and they are extremely reliable. Their speed is legendary; since there is no latency due to moving heads and waiting for the disk to spin around. SSDs are literally hundreds of times faster than the best rotating hard drives. And since they have no moving parts, their average time to failure (MTBF) is measured in decades.
An obstacle to the widespread use of SSDs is the cost. Yet, there is one company with SSDs that are nearly the same cost as the fastest hard drives. According to data from SAN manufacturer Cybernetics, on a cost-per-gigabyte basis their SSDs are a little over 1/3 more than 15,000 RPM hard drives. Since SSDs deliver upwards of 500 times the performance of fast hard drives, the price differential becomes almost irrelevant.