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SSD Lifetimes

By Steve Jones,

One of the things that has concerned many DBAs looking at SSD drives is the possible limited life of these drives. In the past, many consumer drives have had issues, and can fail without warning. However there are plenty of people that still love them for the fact that they are crazy fast and can dramatically speed up your system. Just make sure you keep good backups of your data since it may not be recoverable.

For servers, a number of manufacturers have been working hard to build more reliability and longer lifetimes into their drives. FusionIO has listed 2 million hours and 6 years write endurance for their cards, which is a quite a long time. Other manufacturers are working hard as well and I suspect we'll see more and more SSDs architected into SQL Server instances over the next few years. Microsoft has a white paper on using FusionIO cards in tempdb, and I know a few SQL Server installations have been quite pleased with their results of using these cards in production systems.

This week I saw an analysis of the Samsung SSD 840 over at AnandTech. They examined the wear of this drive and came to the conclusions that writing over 10GiB a day, you're still get many years of service from this drive. That gives me a lot of confidence in the drive, and with Amazon listing the 250GB version for $180, it's an upgrade you might consider for your laptop.

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