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SSD Lifetimes


SSD Lifetimes

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item SSD Lifetimes

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I have two desktop computers that have SSDs as their main drive, and backup to an external hard drive (USB 3). Backup times take about 15 minutes, which is another benefit of the drives. I've heard of new tech on the horizon that will replace these types of drives, but for the time being I'll be happy with my blazing fast performance.
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for servers i would suggest mirrored pairs to help with safety.
apparently there is a PCIe card that has a mirrored pair of SSD drives on it and runs faster than sata as its on the PCIe bus...
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If you are going to protect your SSD with RAID then give it a good few months (or 10% of its expected life) to get some wear and then replace one of the SSDs with a new one. Due to RAID 1 having identical number of writes to both drives then the likelihood of both failing at very similar time becomes a moderate risk or at least you need to be incredible quick in replacing the failed drive. I know I’m not the only DBA that has had more than one occasion where 2 scsi drives have failed within hours of one another.
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Surely the very fact that you get a clearer picture of the impending expiry of the drives makes it less necessary to stage out the drive ageing? I'd be more inclined to recommend simply choosing two different drives or batches to avoid the more dangerous premature hardware failure. Assuming you aim for pro-grade drives rather than the lower end consumer devices that are driver-only, the drive is most likely to come with a toolset that gives fairly detailed information about the current drive health (Intel, for example). I'm pretty sure the fusionio software is also quite detailed, though I've no direct experience of their kit.
Steve Jones
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Landy_Ed (11/19/2012)
Surely the very fact that you get a clearer picture of the impending expiry of the drives makes it less necessary to stage out the drive ageing? I'd be more inclined to recommend simply choosing two different drives or batches to avoid the more dangerous premature hardware failure. Assuming you aim for pro-grade drives rather than the lower end consumer devices that are driver-only, the drive is most likely to come with a toolset that gives fairly detailed information about the current drive health (Intel, for example). I'm pretty sure the fusionio software is also quite detailed, though I've no direct experience of their kit.


You definitely want to use different batches of drives, whether mechanical or SSD. I've seen way too many failures at similar times in large batches of drives.

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Michael Valentine Jones
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For drives that are meant to be Enterprise Class, the lifetime should be long enough for almost any application.

The 400 GB drive on this link is rated a 35 PB of lifetime writes, so that would mean you could write 1 TB of data on it each day for 98 years, or 20 TB per day for 5 years.
http://www.hgst.com/solid-state-drives/ultrastar-ssd400sb

They are expensive though. I saw the price listed on one site at around $5,700.
Jeff Moden
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Michael Valentine Jones (11/24/2012)
The 400 GB drive on this link is rated a 35 PB of lifetime writes, so that would mean you could write 1 TB of data on it each day for 98 years, or 20 TB per day for 5 years.

Gosh. That seems almost like nothing. Our main database only has 80GB but the legacy code has some pretty bad problems and easily writes several TB a day. Of course, we're working on fixing all of that but I'm sure that larger systems have similar problems and could easily reach 20TB per day especially on TempDB.

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Jeff Moden
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FusionIO has listed 2 million hours and 6 years write endurance for their cards, ...

Perhaps I'm reading something wrong but 6 years is only about 52,596 hours. 2 Million hours is more than 288 years so I doubt they've actually tested it for that.

The 6 years number for write endurance is almost believable (I'd like to see the actual tests, though) but the 2 million hours sounds more like an expected non-operatioal shelf life than anything else. Is this nothing more than smoke'n'mirrors advertising with big unprovable numbers to impress and entice the unwary user?

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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Michael Valentine Jones
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Jeff Moden (11/25/2012)
Michael Valentine Jones (11/24/2012)
The 400 GB drive on this link is rated a 35 PB of lifetime writes, so that would mean you could write 1 TB of data on it each day for 98 years, or 20 TB per day for 5 years.

Gosh. That seems almost like nothing. Our main database only has 80GB but the legacy code has some pretty bad problems and easily writes several TB a day. Of course, we're working on fixing all of that but I'm sure that larger systems have similar problems and could easily reach 20TB per day especially on TempDB.


If the writes were spread over several drives in an array, that would still absorb a lot of writes. A 12 drive RAID5 array would give you 20 TB a day for 50 years. 5 TB per day would be still be a 20 year lifetime for a single drive. For the type of application that demands that level of performance, I think replacement of the server in 6 years or less would be closer to the norm.

I think the price is still the biggest concern, and Enterprise SSD will still be too expensive for most applications. However, if your application is actually writing 20TB per day, then IO is likely a bottleneck, so it may be worth having a $55,000 10 drive SSD array.

Hopefully, the price of SSD storage will continue to drop to the point of having costs closer to rotating mechanical disks.
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