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Thread: Pure SSD?

  1. #1

    Pure SSD?

    So many companies are now advertising Pure SSD hosting? What is SSD and what benefits does that have for a customer like me who runs a medium size IPboard?

    I am looking at companies like Wiredtree, Knownhost, Servint, etc etc

  2. #2
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    SSD hosting generally means that you won't have issues with the read / write speeds that are typical on SATA drives. On a VPS this is usually the bottleneck, so SSD's will generally be a good option for you.

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    it would decrease server load if your application have high mysql usage
    also from what i read from one thread in wht,ssd more reliable than raid card

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    I haven't observed any significant improvements with WordPress and other common PHP applications, mainly because a lot of things are cached nowadays so it's very rarely that the 'first load' slowdown occurs. Without dismissing the merits of SSDs, I do think a lot of unnecessary emphasis is being put on them right now to push sales. It's the equivalent of the words 'cloud' and 'cluster' 3–5 years ago and often the hosts recommending them barely understand how they impact real-world performance.

    On the code level, things like PHP-APC and Memcached mean that something like WordPress or IP.Board doesn't actually hit the disk that often. And on the static file level, Linux will automatically cache files in RAM until it's needed for other things. That's what the buffers part of the 'free' command shows, and why it's good to leave spare memory.

    Where SSDs are most beneficial is when a lot of writing to the hard drive is occurring, so long as the SSDs are actually optimised for write performance. When it comes to reading, most requests are cached so it's really not so important — not unless the files being read change constantly. SSDs are a tool that should be employed specifically in areas where an application is going to make use of it. They're not the general 'tune up' improvement many hosts imply them to be, and a lot of people are going out of their way to spend money on them for no reason.

    Of course, the greater IO potential of SSDs does mean that more clients can thrash the hard drive before slowdown occurs. That can be good for customers, but then the same logic applies as with CPUs: even though the CPUs of today are infinitely more powerful than the ones of even five years ago, it just results in most hosting companies piling more accounts onto each servers — so each individual customer feels little benefit.

    If you are going to see an improvement with your IP.Board, it'll most likely be when writing to the database occurs (e.g. posting a thread). The difference is likely to be barely noticeable, however if you have lots of writes happening at the same time (e.g. 10 people replying at once) then it could reduce the congestion.

    Essentially, see SSDs as a way of being able to handle more users at once rather than a way of generally speeding things up. If you're not getting so much activity that your forums are slowing down (easy way to test this is to disable your forum for a few minutes and see whether or not things feel faster using your admin login), chances are SSDs won't help much and you might find the extra space of a regular HDD more useful. But if you can get plentiful SSD space for a good price, why not?
    Last edited by Ryan Williams; 01-20-2014 at 09:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueHarvest View Post
    So many companies are now advertising Pure SSD hosting? What is SSD and what benefits does that have for a customer like me who runs a medium size IPboard?

    That is a great question!

    The primary difference between SSD and regular drives is the massive difference in IOPS (Input / Output operations per second)

    The second difference, is the large read/write speeds available.



    Now specifically for someone like you, and your application IPboard it will benefit you mostly on the database side of things. Since your database is of course stored on the disk and not in memory, the added disk speeds will help increase the speeds and capacities of your database calls.

    Normally on older servers you end up finding the CPU waiting on the Disk for operations to complete, using SSD helps remove this bottle neck and generally speaking speed things up.


    Hope this helps!
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  6. #6
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    The SSD is faster than the Sata Drives but it depence from hosting company. If you are looking for a hosting plan then the SSD drive will not affect you much. If you plan to buy a dedicated server with SSD drives then you will understand quickly how important is the ssd drive.

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    SSD is generally better for sites which are mainly based off PHP and MySQL as it can load them faster compared to HDD drives.

    If you're running a large MySQL Database SSD would be beneficial.

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    As others have mentioned, for the end-user DB speed is the primary enhancement. When it comes to VPS systems, SSD vs HDD and even SAS is generally noticeable - when you have 30, 40, 50+ operating environments running from the same array, the added iops are more than welcome.

    SSD cache + SAS RAID can also deliver solid performance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Williams View Post
    I haven't observed any significant improvements with WordPress and other common PHP applications, mainly because a lot of things are cached nowadays so it's very rarely that the 'first load' slowdown occurs. Without dismissing the merits of SSDs, I do think a lot of unnecessary emphasis is being put on them right now to push sales. It's the equivalent of the words 'cloud' and 'cluster' 35 years ago and often the hosts recommending them barely understand how they impact real-world performance.

    On the code level, things like PHP-APC and Memcached mean that something like WordPress or IP.Board doesn't actually hit the disk that often. And on the static file level, Linux will automatically cache files in RAM until it's needed for other things. That's what the buffers part of the 'free' command shows, and why it's good to leave spare memory.

    You're bang on there a lot of it is marketing. You can load up a system with 32, 48, 64, 128gb of ram and probably assuming your workload is reasonable get the same performance or better. The solid state drives are still slower than memory. I've seen quite a few of these pure ssd offerings where the server ends up with 4gb ram. At that point I have to ask what exactly is the point? You're now pushing the ssd's close to their limits instead.
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  10. #10
    When someone first explained SSD to me it was something along the lines of this:

    HDDs use spinning disk drives to locate the piece of data that is being searched for. It's essentially like a record player. An SSD uses flash memory which means the drive can pick up exactly the piece of data it's searching for without spinning. From your perspective, it's much, much faster.

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    After fairly long trials - we're seeing significant benefits over SSD and there's a noticeable difference in most areas, but especially parsing of dynamic PHP and MySQL. SATA is simply old news and it's great for big data storage but the bigger picture is that for the hosting industry 100% SSD is where we should all be at, and those who aren't can not compare - even an SSD cache won't get you some of the benefits of 100% SSD, as these guys are generally just putting an SSD into a server without any redundancy at all - in addition the general seek times speed up everything.

    While certain people on here may not notice the difference, the results from the end users are that it is indeed noticeable - those who say otherwise can literally not have used it properly, of course memory is faster than SSD still - but an SSD cache is a poor mans 100%, because while SSD is more expensive, that's mainly because we're comparing to 50 year SATA technology.
    Last edited by iexo; 01-22-2014 at 05:25 PM.

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    According to our internal tests and customer feedback, SSD drives provides a noticeable I/O improvement, generating to higher site loads and faster web applications, in general.

    SSD drives have been extremely reliable on our RAID 10 arrays, whereas ordinary spinning HDD are much more prone to premature failure due to the mechanical operations and permanent overheat, leading to potential data loss in some cases.

    CPU I/O wait has been another clear improvement with SSDs. With ordinary HDD drives there was always a high number of processes waiting for the HDDs to execute prior tasks. With SSD drives there is practically zero (0) I/O wait 95 of the time.

    For newer applications with intensive I/O operations like databases, SSDs will always be a better performer. Even server administration, updates/upgrades and day to day tasks are performed on a fraction of the time.

    Do not take our word for it. Give it a try with your favorite provider and do your own comparison study. You will never come back to ordinary mechanical HDDs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogriverac View Post
    You will never come back to ordinary mechanical HDDs.
    This! ^

    They're worlds ahead of HDD, there's no comparison BUT there's no doubt if you need big data storage then use HDD simply for the cost per GB, but web hosting is generally more about generating content from smaller files and databases - so without a doubt it shines in that respect. For people to downplay SSD I'd say they have their own motives or may not be able to afford to implement SSD but the proof is in the pudding. Plus consider the eco benefits, with lower power usage, minimal vibration and longer (potential) lifespan.

    SSD's mirrored = Vroom vroom.

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    First and foremost SSD stands for solid state drive it has to deal with data in another note.

    For one thing for sure SSD will improve speeds on your web site in many ways . With SSD your content is delivered at a much faster rate.

  15. #15
    Pretty much what Daniel said above.

    What exactly do you consider a medium sized IP board? Whats your traffic usage like and concurrent users? Threads/post count? With SSD you will definitely see an improvement over SATA running a forum.

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    If you are already feeling tired of words, take a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ursoUUbM1aM

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iexo View Post
    After fairly long trials - we're seeing significant benefits over SSD and there's a noticeable difference in most areas, but especially parsing of dynamic PHP and MySQL. SATA is simply old news and it's great for big data storage but the bigger picture is that for the hosting industry 100% SSD is where we should all be at, and those who aren't can not compare - even an SSD cache won't get you some of the benefits of 100% SSD, as these guys are generally just putting an SSD into a server without any redundancy at all - in addition the general seek times speed up everything.
    Not what I've noted what I've noticed is a good majority of these SSD hosts are turning around and throwing up 4GB ram on a server. If you introduce enough iops the latency of the disks is going to go up. You just need to check the benchmarks or run your own to notice.

    I doubt most measure the average latency of the i/o requests however. A 100% random scenario on these SSD's could see latency as high as 500ms.


    Quote Originally Posted by iexo View Post
    While certain people on here may not notice the difference, the results from the end users are that it is indeed noticeable - those who say otherwise can literally not have used it properly, of course memory is faster than SSD still - but an SSD cache is a poor mans 100%, because while SSD is more expensive, that's mainly because we're comparing to 50 year SATA technology.
    We've run actual benchmarks on this and it's not a poor mans implementation it's a smart implementation. If my hot data is less than the solid state drives being used for READ and WRITE caching you're not going to see a difference. You'll see the difference when your hot data is more than that. At that point though the amount of hot data you're talking about you're probably already seeing a degradation in performance of your solid state drives whether caching or not. As I mentioned earlier if you introduce 100% random i/o the latency is 500ms from the solid state drives.

    Solid state drives are the future but the costs per GB are still very high. The amount of hot data on normal server is not going to be 1TB. Since I've used the S3500 as my example the 800GB one is nearly $1000. If we want two of them that is $2000 in drives. For the same amount of spending I could buy the following:

    (2) 1TB Seagate Constellgation CS.3 - $100/each
    (2) Intel S3500 240GB - $290/each

    We'll go as far and say pure SSD is not using a raid card so add $400 for that. We'll add $200 for cachevault too.
    $250 for cachecade even though we can run flashcache

    Total price now is at $1380. I've created an absolute worst case scenario here and we're left with an additional $620 to work with. I could add an additional 64gb of memory to a server at that cost.


    At this point you can really accomplish the same goals with a hybrid setup when dealing with large disk arrays. I'd agree if you're deploying 250GB total disk servers it be a different story. When doing that though you're also probably going to sacrifice CPU's and total memory to get to that point. Maybe you deploy with a single E3 and 8gb ram. Or maybe even worse a single L5520 and some solid state drive.
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