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5 Tips for Choosing an SSD

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Enterprise users often face a dilemma when it comes to what to store their data and run applications on. In many cases, the need for fast, reliable, resilient storage and a limited budget must be balanced. Occasionally, this leads IT managers to choose low-end SSD drives that fit within the budget. They assume that the claimed speeds and capacities will be perfect for any kind of task. But don’t be in such a hurry.
5 Tips for Choosing an SSD
It’s not always advisable to move your infrastructure to SSD drives entirely. For example, when running your video portal, you can allocate 15% of the total amount of stored data for cache. As a result, there is no need to keep all 10TV on SSD drives, but only 1.5TV is enough. The remaining 8.5TV will feel quite comfortable on regular SATA disks. If your project requires frequent overwriting of the database in large volumes, the use of SSD in 70% of such cases is absolutely impractical, it will be more reasonable to use SAS disks. They will provide you with acceptable write speed, necessary memory size and years of work with the database without buying new equipment, which allows you to save significantly. But you have decided to go with reliability rather than economy.
When choosing an SSD for your environment, there are many factors to consider if you’re going to end up choosing a solution that can properly meet your needs. Here are five tips to help you choose an SSD that meets the needs of your applications, while saving your budget and preventing possible headaches.
Understand the requirements of your applications
An SSD is an SSD, right? Absolutely not. In fact, SSDs are built on different technologies to handle different types of workloads. Basically, all modern SSDs are made on NAND chips.
5 Tips for Choosing an SSD
But there are three varieties of this memory: SLC, MLC and TLC. Naturally, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
5 Tips for Choosing an SSD
Different interfaces are also used which provide different bandwidths. The most popular with manufacturers are ONFi and Toggle Mode.
5 Tips for Choosing an SSD
It is extremely important to understand what applications you intend to work with and their read/write operation needs before proceeding with your selection. If you do not have this information handy when selecting equipment, the chances of getting the best equipment are extremely slim.
Look at total cost of ownership (TCO), not purchase price
Calculating the TCO for an SSD can be a bit tricky, but that’s no reason to shy away from it. Choosing a cheap option is usually more attractive. However, if the drive fails to meet your long-term needs and wears out sooner than you expect, you’ll have to look in your wallet again, incur unforeseen expenses, and re-transfer all your data as well.
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has developed tools to help businesses and organizations perform TCO calculations. Many organizations are comfortable calculating direct costs such as purchase price, labor, and capital costs because they are relatively easy to measure. However, indirect costs, such as lifetime power and cooling, life expectancy of the average drive, replacement cost, maintenance, etc., must also be taken into account, otherwise there is a risk of huge losses.
Refer to $ / TBW, not $ / GB when comparing drives
You have to take a fundamentally different approach to cost estimation than traditional HDDs. And when you go to your boss to present the selected options, he will probably want a lower $/GB ratio. But that metric is not appropriate for SSDs because of the limited number of cell rewrites. Hence, you have to look at the TBW (Total Bytes Written; the total amount of data written before the drive fails). This will tell you how much you will pay for the amount of data you can realistically write to the disk before it fails.
5 Tips for Choosing an SSD
Cooling your build significantly affects your budget. You should pay attention to IOPS/Watt. The goal should be to achieve the highest performance with the least amount of power needed to run your SSD. Not all SSDs are equal in this regard. Since efficient cooling can help save up to 80 percent of total power consumption, this aspect becomes very important in organizations with tight budgets.
Think about reducing and stabilizing latency
Many IT managers opt for SSDs because of the performance benefits demanded by modern applications. Often, reducing latency alone will produce the desired result. When considering this metric, it is important to look beyond the simple measurement of average response time. Naturally, this value should be as low as possible, but you should also understand how stable the SSD latency is. Does the drive experience sharp increases in latency, or does it still stay in a fairly narrow range? You should always achieve the most stable latency possible, otherwise your data center will run slower than you would like it to when the SSD “goes” into a latency spike, leaving your data “sitting and waiting”.

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