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SanDisk Optimus Eco SSD RAID Enterprise Performance Analysis

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Oct 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Final Thoughts




The tricky aspect of SSD RAID performance characterization lies in the overabundance of possible array settings. Through strip sizes, controller caching, drive caching, read ahead, and write through settings, administrators can tailor their array to provide the desired performance characteristics for their specific application. We test with default settings, and caching and read ahead disabled to provide a clear view of the SSDs themselves. We advise readers to tune their arrays for their application requirements.


One of the overlooked aspects of SSD RAID configurations is the fact that they can be used to extend endurance. SSDs have finite lifetimes. Enterprise SSDs provide plenty of endurance for mainstream applications, but those with more intense workloads can benefit by multiplying endurance through RAID scenarios. The difference between random and sequential writes can be profound for SSD endurance; the Eco goes from four DWPD for random write data to seven DWPD with sequential write data. Many RAID controllers sequentialize cached random data before handing it down to the underlying array. This technique was originally intended to boost performance for HDDs, but also has the benefit of increasing SSD endurance.


The Optimus Eco's delivered excellent scaling in RAID usage. Some SSDs with inconsistent performance do not achieve optimum scaling, and administrators can reach a point of diminishing returns with as few as four SSDs. The Optimus continued to scale up to eight SSDs, and delivered healthy increases in performance with each additional SSD. This performance scaling delivered tremendous RAID 0 results with up to 504,753 random 4k read IOPS, and 225,703 random 4k write IOPS. Sequential performance was just as impressive with a blistering 3,736 MB/s in sequential read performance, and 3,566 MB/s of sequential write performance.


RAID 10 scaling also fell within expectations and the similarities between the four-drive RAID 0 array and the eight-drive RAID 10 array highlight great scaling from both the SSDs and the LSI 9361-8i controller. RAID 0 isn't often used in actual deployments, but the eight-drive RAID 0 array test results should scale similarly to a larger 16-drive RAID 10.


Another impressive facet in our testing was the extreme reduction in latency during all of our workloads. The arrays all delivered excellent latency performance that will provide applications with fast service and a solid QoS. The low latency experienced with the arrays is usually impossible with a single device, and some PCIe offerings are competitive in this space. There are advantages to PCIe solutions, but many do not offer the high-availability features of the tried and true SAS interface.


6Gb/s SAS is widely deployed into the datacenter, and replacing hard drives with slip-in SSD replacements can be a quick fix for performance challenges. The ability to deploy varying numbers of SSDs, and varying capacities, allows users to tailor the level of performance and capacity precisely to provide targeted application acceleration. SSD RAID overhead is usually offloaded to the RAID controller, minimizing any disruption in the existing environment.


New features in Windows Storage Spaces also offers easy clustered and fail-over options that mesh well with SSD arrays. The Optimus Eco provides a compelling mix of features, endurance, pricing and high-availability features backed by a five-year warranty. In our testing, the Optimus Eco delivered excellent performance, and will be a good for any number of varying deployments.



PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Optimus ECO for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.


United States: The 400GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for $839.38 at Amazon, and the 800GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for $2,335.30 at Amazon.


Canada: The 800GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for CDN$2,763.66 at Amazon Canada.

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