5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2013 10:33 AM by Andrew Watkins RSS

    How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server

    Andrew Watkins
      I thought I would try this list. It may be I should post this in the Solaris 11 list, but I thought I would try here first.

      I am going to purchase a new Solaris x86 with 128GB ram, 2 CPUs and 6x300GB disks.

      Now I am wondering if I should add one 100 GB 2.5-inch eMLC SSD into the system, but searching the web I am unsure how best to use and SSD device. There is plenty discussions about ZFS and SSD but they all talk about small sizes (few GB) and I would only be able to buy the one SSD card.

      The machine is going to a general Solaris 11 system running many zones e.g. Databases, web servers, smtp, compute server. Has any one used this Oracle SSD card and what for or should I forget it for such a system.

      Cheers,

      Andrew
        • 1. Re: How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server
          rukbat
          If you are purchasing new equipment, you may need to keep in mind that any and all warranty or service contract support on the box will likely require you to keep only known qualified hardware in it.

          Warranty and contract support for ANYTHING related to filesystems and disks might be suspended if such a third-party device is in the chassis.

          You need to get an accurate answer on this from the company instead of some response from a user-to-user forum.

          Go contact the people you're going to be buying it from, else log a SR for this question if the hardware is going to be Oracle/Sun-branded.
          • 2. Re: How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server
            Bjoern Rost
            Only you can now if your system needs an SSD or not. We have succesfully used the flash accelerator cards in ZFS hybrid storage pools. I have also even used external USB flash devices succesfully. What are you storage needs? What do you want to do with the server? The options to use SSDs are basically these:

            - as a L2ARC cache device for a zpool to speed up zfs reads
            - as a seperate ZIL device to speed up writes (but you may want to mirror ZIL)
            - as the only device for a filesystem or ASM
            - as a device for database smart flash cache

            I'd recommend to start looking at the problem you want to solve with an SSD before buying one and wonder how to use it to solve a problem that does not even exist for you.

            bjoern
            • 3. Re: How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server
              Andrew Watkins
              Thanks for the information.

              I guess since I am building a general server box then SSD may not be the best option.

              Unless I go and get 2 SSD and mirror the root on it. Would that be a possible idea?

              Cheers,

              Andrew
              • 4. Re: How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server
                Bjoern Rost
                I guess you could do that but the question is again: why? If IO is not a concern for your server, why bother making it faster (and more expensive). Mirrored SSDs for root would propably make the system boot a bit faster. But how often do you do that?

                Cheers
                Bjoern
                • 5. Re: How to use a 100 GB eMLC SSD in a Solaris x86 Server
                  Andrew Watkins
                  Thanks for all your help.

                  Since there is no problem to fix and the system will be a general zone zone, so I just want a machine as quick as possible.

                  I will forget the SSD option and stick with the spec I have or may just get some more disk/memory or upgrade disks to15K disks.

                  Thanks to all,

                  Andrew