Hard Disk Drives Vs. Solid State Drives: A Performance Evaluation

Date Added: May 2009
Format: PDF

Solid State Drives are high-performance plug-and-play data storage devices that contain no moving parts. This paper attempts to highlight performance characteristics of Solid State Drives (SSDs) and their potential uses for better understanding by users. The IOmeter test was used to identify the performance of a wide spectrum of transfer sizes and queue depths to identify trends and/or anomalies. LSI SAS Host Bus Adapters and MegaRAID SAS 87XX and 88XX series adapters now support Solid State Drives. Some advantages of using SSDs compared to Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are that they have a faster start up, extremely low latency, near zero noise pollution, greater temperature range, higher reliability, and faster seek times. SSDs provide excellent performance benefits for applications comprised primarily of random access patterns, such as online transaction processing, databases, and web servers. MegaRAID management applications are able to identify and manage SSD devices as well as hard drives with ease. MSM monitors for proper usage of SSD devices and allows for any combination of SAS HDDs, SATA HDDs, SAS SSDs, and SATA SSDs to be used in the same system. From a performance perspective, SSDs provide much better performance for workloads that are primarily random. However they fail to scale as well in sequential throughput. The LSI MegaRAID SAS/SATA adapter was able to produce up to nearly 30,000 random IOPs.