SanDisk’s $600 Solid-state Drive could be a Game-changer

Jan 11, 2007 / By Paul Vallee

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I’ll just quote from Gary Krakow’s analysis here:

So, when I saw one particular announcement at a show filled with press releases, I got very, very excited: SanDisk Corporation has introduced a 32GB, 1.8-inch solid-state drive (SSD) which is built to be a drop-in replacement for standard mechanical hard disk drives. This means the device has no moving parts.
[…]
SanDisk claims a sustained read rate of 62 megabytes per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second. In plain English, that means its more than 100 times faster than most current hard disk drives.

Read Gary Krakow’s review, and then put into the context of Alex, Nuno’s and my comments to Alex’s recent MySQL indexing/optimization debate, Nuno Souto’s post on Moore’s law and how it hasn’t applied to disk so far, not to mention my BAHD post and it’s comments and you’ll quickly see why this might be the breakthrough in disk storage that will quickly change the game when it comes to long-term storage performance improvements catching up to CPU and memory improvements.

I also like that it’s only 32GB. :-)

Paul

10 Responses to “SanDisk’s $600 Solid-state Drive could be a Game-changer”

  • Well, if it sustains 7K random IOs/second than it’s good for much higher volumes per “spindle”. Heh, would you still call it a spindle? :)

  • Pete_s says:

    I think I would need to buy rather a lot of them to store the odd terabyte ;-)

    But smart design and aligning data to storage speeds to suit need and I could see a new career developing.

  • Paul Vallee says:

    Pete –

    > I think I would need to buy rather a lot of them to store the odd terabyte

    No doubt. But they’d be fast enough that I could even back putting them in … wait for it … gag … RAID 5!!! :-)

    Paul

  • Doug Burns says:

    I have an outstanding email sitting in my Inbox from a vendor who wants to loan me Solid State Disks to repeat my ‘How Many Slaves’ PX tests. I don’t think I’ll get round to it for a while, though, you should meet my new boss – he’s a slave-driver!

    ;-)

  • Paul Vallee says:

    Another great pun! How many slaves do you think I can drive?

  • Paul Vallee says:

    Interesting review here.

    Take aways:

    Another touted benefit is faster file access times — a sum of seek time and access latency. SanDisk says it measured access times as low as 0.12ms for the SSD, compared to 19ms for the 1.8-inch, 4200 rpm hard drive.

    Umm… wow?

    SanDisk’s radical performance claims notwithstanding, NAND flash in general does suffer from a few undesirable performance characteristics, compared to traditional hard drives. For example, data can only be erased in fairly large segments — meaning that especially small write operations could take longer and use more energy.


    Hmm… damn?

  • Christo Kutrovsky says:

    “7,000 IOPS (input/outputs per second) for a 512MB file”

    Note the small text, for a 512 Mb file. I wonder if that is still the number for the entire 32gb.

    For comparission, IDE drives tend to be twice as fast, if you measure IOs in limited range, within 5% of the drive size.

  • Has anyone done any experiments with this for benchmarks?

    I’m seriously thinking about suggesting that my customers buy two of these in a mirrored config – most of my customers can fit their DB in 32 gig.

  • Michael, we have exactly the same idea here! It’s not clear so far how they would perform for writes as flash might be really slow on writes. Specs give write performance a bit slower that read but it only gives throughput and not number of writes per second.
    I tried to contact SanDisk but email they provided in the brochure has bounced. I will try to follow it up on the first occasion. If you get to test it – please share your results. Thanks!

  • Michael,
    We have exactly the same idea here! It’s not clear so far how they would perform for writes as flash might be really slow on writes. Specs give write performance a bit slower that read but it only gives throughput and not number of writes per second.
    I tried to contact SanDisk but email they provided in the brochure has bounced. I will try to follow it up on the first occasion. If you get to test it – please share your results.
    Thanks!

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