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I read a lot about SSDs and I am interested in them for server use. My biggest concern is their reliability. A lot of writes shortens their life span. I can mitigate this problem if I can run some kind of diagnostics on a regular basis on the SSD or if the SSD can automatically warn the OS that its reliability is reaching a critical level. Think of this as S.M.A.R.T or software like SpinRite for SSDs.

Does anything I mentioned exist now? Which kind/brand of SSD does this?

I don't mind swapping out a tired SSD for a newer one once a while. I am pretty sure that SSDs life is calculated in years and not in few months? For me, the improved performance will pay for the SSD over and over. I am planning to use plenty of RAM as well.

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3 Answers 3

Intel SSDs (and others) offer wear information via SMART

smartctl -a /dev/ssd

results in something like:

ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH 
...cut...
232 Unknown_Attribute       0x0033   100   100   010    Pre-fail
233 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   099   099   000    Old_age

with Intel SSDs, 232 is available space (0-100) and 233 is the wear indicator (0-100, lower is worse)

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Certainly enterprise class SSDs alert when they're on their way out, I know this because we killed quite a few different brands/models in testing for SQL use.

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SSD's do have various ways of telling how healthy the think they are. But I wouldn't trust that information much.

The realities are that SSD wear has little real-world testing right now. The flash cells are well tested, the algorithms well understood, but systems-level experience from real world use isn't available yet. It's being generated by the early adopters as we speak.

The best you can do is probably to run the vendor maintenance software on a regular basis, and proactively replace the SSD well before its expected service life.

For Intel SSDs the maintenance tool is the SSD Toolbox.

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