When is 1.8 equal to 360,000?

When it’s a 1.8 inch solid state drive that helps you get 360,000 IOs per second.

And 1.8 can also equal 1 million! That’s the number of hours for Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) for solid state drives – 1 million hours!  That’s 114 years!

A lot of data centers are stuck in the past – using 2.5 inch hard drive technology – more out of habit than anything else. That’s what they have been using for years. That’s what’s comfortable for them.  But they really should take a hard look at what they are missing out on.

Just moving to flash drive technology buys a tremendous leap in performance – a 2.5 inch SSD can be 100 times faster, return almost instantaneous data access, deliver quicker boot ups, and transfer files faster than its hard drive counterpart.  But making the next step – to the smaller form factor 1.8 inch SSDs can bring a data center to an even greater level of density, performance and reliability.

A very convincing example

Consider this one example of how moving from the “standard” hard drive configuration on an R630 server to using 1.8 inch solid state drives delivers:

  • 170 times more IOPs
  • > 3.5 times more throughput
  • 98 times less cost per IOP 

There is a higher cost per gigabyte, but while the initial cost may be a little more – the gain in performance and productivity is immediate and immense.

The 1.8 inch drives can deliver this massive performance increase because of the density they bring to the platform.  In the example above, the same 2.4 terabytes of storage are provided by 8 x 2.5 inch HDs and 12 x 1.8 inch SSDs respectively. So, in addition to the raw speed advantage of the SSDs – the 1.8 inch form factor allows four more drives – to provide that much more performance and throughput.

1.8 inch opportunities in the latest PowerEdge servers

In the 13th generation of PowerEdge servers Dell has provided a wide range of configurations that let customers reap the benefits of 1.8 inch storage density.

  • In addition to the R630 24 x 1.8” option, there is an R730xd configuration that has 18 x 1.8” SSDs along with 8 x 3.5” drives – this “hybrid” configuration opens up possibilities for a fast boot option, more efficient data tiering and high performance caching.
  • The FX architecture offers the 8 x 1.8” FC630, the 16 x 1.8” FC830, and the 2 x 1.8” FC430.  In the case of the FC630 and the FC830, the greater number of drives enable more efficient use of PERC cards for better performance and more levels of RAID protection.
  • And the 1.8 inch SSDs bring the M-series blades – like the 12 x 1.8” M830 – to parity with the capacity densities that could only previously been had in the PowerEdge rack server offerings.

How reliable? Super reliable!

Some data centers are hesitant to move to 1.8 inch solid state drives because they feel that they  are “untested” – implying that they are somehow unreliable. As mentioned in the opening paragraph – solid state drives have an MTBF of 1 million hours! That is 40 times better than the hard drives that these same datacenters are currently running their businesses on. They are more shock resistant, operate at higher and lower temperatures and have no moving parts to fail…

On top of that, in many configurations, the higher number of available drives that 1.8 inch form factor provides allows more RAID options to be used – delivering higher levels of application availability.

The proven, tested 1.8 inch advantage

Read a detailed account of how a PowerEdge R630 with 1.8 inch SSDs fared against a competitor’s solution running an OLTP workload. (Hint: It did a lot better!)

About the Author: Paul Steeves