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SSD Storage Is Here

I know it’s been a while since our last post. However, we have been taking the time to upgrade infrastructure. As of this post (August 24, 2014) we only have 2 X3400 INTEL nodes left with traditional storage. The rest of our VPS nodes are now upgraded to Intel E3 CPU bases and over 50% of those have SSD storage.

To give an example for what you will expect in disk I/O compared to the traditional storage:

~# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync

16384+0 records in

16384+0 records out

1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 2.78268 s, 386 MB/s

Typical sequential writes on RAID 10 SATA is around 80-100 MB/s. So most of our customers are already experiencing a 3x improvement on disk speeds.

We hope to eventually get our nodes up to exclusively SSD storage by the end of 2014 and early 2015. When that happens, we will be waiving the extra fee to be on an SSD node.

When you buy a new VPS with us, there is currently a 70/30 chance that you will be placed on an SSD node at no additional cost, however, until we are fully on SSD storage we cannot guarantee you will be placed on an SSD node unless the $2.50 /m addon is checked when you place your order.

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How SSD Storage Makes Your VPS Faster

Samsung 840 PRO SSD on OpenVZ Servers

There has been a lot of buzz in the industry lately about SSD storage, the benefits to I/O speed that it brings relative to it’s cost is something that makes it an attractive investment for both business and personal use.

This post should clarify the common questions you’re faced with when deciding if the added cost of using SSD based storage is really something they should invest in.

The image below is a very simple (and standard) benchmark test used to see what the sequential write speed of your filesystem is. Typically speaking anything above 80-120 MB/s on this test is an indication of a filesystem powered by something more powerful than the typical 4 SATA drive RAID10 setup. In this case, the test below was the result of a two drive RAID1 setup with Samsung 840 PRO SSD drives. The theoretical maximum write on these drives is about 450 MB/s.

IO Test on Samsung 840 PRO

So what does this do for you? Well, knowing the read and write performance of your underlying file system can help solve problems and plan for future growth of your website, applications and or database performance. I/O is often the most commonly over looked parameter when sizing up a server to run in a production envoronment. The typical CPU, Memory & Disk Space are the common 3 factors that are used to determine a comparison in price point amongst hosting companies. Unfortunately, not many will post the I/O performance of the disk space that is sold.

Common Questions to Ask

  1. Are you running a web application that requires the use of a Database?
  2. Do you require a lot of storage space?
  3. Does your application or task do more reading or writing to disk?

Generally speaking, if you don’t need hundreds of gigabytes of storage space and you are using some type of database, SSD based storage will make a noticeable difference immediately. Most times, if you are on older hardware with SSD real world performance can actually greater than state of the art hardware that is experiencing an I/O bottleneck.

At OpenVZ.ca, SSD storage can be added to any existing or new plan at an additional cost of $5 /month. It will require a migration to another physical node setup with SSD storage, but this migration is seamless and results in no downtime.

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