Saturday, March 31, 2007 4:21 PM tonyrogerson

A world without Disk Seek Time - the Solid State Disk really is here

I've been keeping an eye on this space, first with Gigabit's I-RAM which offers 4GB of battery backed RAM drive that acts as a SATA drive but lately with Samsungs SSD.

Samsung have a Solid State Disk offering - 16GB or 32GB, and have announced a 64GB disk - take a look at the press release.

No price yet, but the 32GB is priced at £289 ex VAT on scan (

Here are the figures from the press release...

1.8”-type flash-SSD / rotating-disc HDD Feature Comparison
Samsung’s 64GB
Samsung’s 32GB
Read/Write Speed
R : 64MB/s (4.3)
W : 45MB/s (6.4)
R : 53MB/s (3.5)
W : 30MB/s (4.3)
R : 15MB/s (1)
W : 7MB/s (1)
15g (1/4)
15g (1/4)
61g (1)
Power Consumption
O : 0.5W (1/3)
I : 0.1W (1/15)
O : 0.5W (1/3)
I : 0.1W (1/15)
O : 1.5 W (1)
I : 1.5W (1)
*. () represent the performance comparison with HDD
**. 32GB Flash-SSD was first launched in 2006
***. 64GB Flash-SSD was first launched in 2007

What does that mean in real terms for us as SQL people? Not alot at the moment because these are built to go in laptops, it does mean our demo's will be quicker I suppose :).

Imagine the performance boost you will get by putting tempdb on one of these, tempdb is used for all sorts of things and it means all sorts of things causing writes and reads to and from the disk, so with rotational disk technology you will always have a performance penalty in way of disk seek times; but with these solid state disks that all disappears. The read and write speeds are not comparable with what we can get out of todays hard drives - the figures they give (15MB for read and 7MB for write) probably relate to the disk having absolutely no write cache and the 15MB, well, not sure where they get that figure from - perhaps it was a random xKB read test causing a lot of disk seek delay.

These guys (HyperOS Systems) do a DDR based solution in the form of their product HyperDrive4 which looks very good and well thought out, the price tag is quite high though at £2,395 for a 32GB system; that said, if your system is suffering through disk performance and you've gone as far as you can with query tuning then its an option.


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# re: A world without Disk Seek Time - the Solid State Disk really is here

Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:47 PM by ipfeifer

Just wait til they put 25 of these things in an SAS enclosure!  Even at $1000 each, they'd save you money by cutting out SAN infrastructure, freeing up rack space, saving on cooling, etc.  The list goes on and on...

# re: A world without Disk Seek Time - the Solid State Disk really is here

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 1:10 AM by JohnC

Beware the maximum-write-cycle limitations of flash. Current devices are good for about 1 million write operations per block. TempDb might not be a good candidate for this reason. Surely SQL Server attempts to use RAM for many TempDb operations already?

# re: A world without Disk Seek Time - the Solid State Disk really is here

Friday, May 18, 2007 2:52 PM by Wanderer

It's already here (here's being available, not here as in at our site, more's the pity)

 Tera-RamSan highlights:

Up to 1 Terabyte of non-volatile DDRRAM in 24U.

Unlimited overall capacity

Over 3.2 million random I/O requests per second.

Over 24 GB/second of random sustainable data bandwidth.

Up to 512 physical LUNs.

Requires 2,500 watts of power.

Up to 8 independent non-volatile solid state disks (SSD) modules. Each SSD module is a RamSan-400, including 128 GB of DDRRAM and up to eight 4-Gbit Fibre Channel connections or four 4x InfiniBand ports.