Glenn Barry (blog, twitter) posted a note about MySpace using Fusion-IO PCi-E cards to replace hard drives in their systems. It’s an idea that’s been touted and I know there have been SQL people asking about it over the last year or so. There’s a nice case being made for their use in application servers, and MySpace has a white paper that’s worth reading as well on the Fusio-IO site.
However no one has really given us a good reference and more importantly, I was talking with some MVPs at the recent PASS Summit that have some heavily used systems. They are running thousands of transactions / sec and they said that they’d tested SSDs, but none of the manufacturers’ drives could stand up to their load. Within an hour or two they said they could burn out an SSD since the chips only allow so many writes and heat can be a factor.
So who’s correct? I don’t know. I think the workload matters quite a bit. I would like to think that these SSDs are perfect for quick tempdb work, but with all the constant write/read of tempdb, maybe that’s not the case. Maybe they’re better for indexes that are heavily read. I would love to test some for SSC, but I’m not sure if I could get them into our servers, or if I could publish if I had demo units.
I’ve been interested in testing one on my laptop even since hearing about Andy Warren’s experiences. My Toshiba Qosmio has 2 bays in it and I had some recent issues, which made me wish for a second drive in there, just in case. Then I saw Chad Miller recently post on Twitter that he’d ordered an SSD for his laptop. He got a RunCore 64GB drive from MyDigitalDiscount.
I have a 16GB SSD on my netbook, and it’s worked fine for me. However it’s hard to get an idea of any speed difference since the Atom processor is likely the bottleneck in performance on that machine. I might spent the $200 and get a drive for my laptop and see if it performs any different. One thing I need to do is get it upgraded to Win 7, benchmark it, and then consider getting an SSD in there with a second install of the OS. That would give me a spare bootable OS in case something happened to the SSD.
One thing I’ll also note is that when looking at prices at NewEgg I found there to be some substantial issues with Win 7 and some of these drives reporting in user reviews. Corsair, who I’ve often used for memory, has had a number of issues reported on their products. Not sure if these are older drives, old firmware, etc, but be sure you do some research before you buy one.