27 August 2010

Ya Know How Fast You Was Goin', Son?

So yeah, boy, do ya know how fast you was goin'? Turns out, speed isn't everythin'. Just read up on the tests of mid to high-end SSDs. Here's AnandTech's page. And a quote from the Vertex Limited Edition: "Saturating the bandwidth offered by 3Gbps SATA, the Crucial RealSSD C300 and OCZ Vertex LE are the fastest you can get. However, pair the C300 with a 6Gbps controller and you'll get another 70MB/s of sequential read speed." And these are just retail/consumer parts.

I've seen (didn't note the cite, alas) articles stating that enterprise SSDs need to go mano-a-mano with controllers. This is easy to understand.

So, is SPEED the reason to use SSD? Well, of course not. The reason for SSD is BCNF (or higher, dare I submit) datastores. Those ridiculous speed numbers are for "sequential" reads, and sequential only happens (in the physical reality meaning of the word) on bare silicon. And, in any case, SSD won't be price competitive with rotating rust for quite sometime. Both rust and silicon have physical limits, it's just that the silicon limit happens at a much lower volumetric density when used for persistent storage. You're not going to be storing all those 3D dagger-in-your-neck B-movies you just have to have forever on silicon.

It is likely a Good Thing that these teenage SSDs are running into Boss Hogg; they need to find a more meaningful purpose in life. I've got just that.

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