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What is more important in a hosting environment?

Seek Time would be very important because the disk head will have to move from one location to the next to serve the thousands of different requests.

Would read speed would be also that important? Would burst speed offset it's importance?

I am saying this because in a hosting environment most requests are very small (<300 kb).

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Seek time directly impacts how fast a drive can service random I/O requests. How much of an impact that will have on a hosting environment depends (there's that word again) on what kind of disk I/O the applications are doing. Highly random, very small I/Os will be very impacted by seek time. In this case, 'impacted' means it'll start slowing w-a-y down quicker than drives with a lower seek time would. Seek time limits scale-out.

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In other words: in any kind of multiuser/server environment, seek time is king. Burst speed is only interesting in a single-user environment with very large files. –  freiheit Aug 5 '10 at 23:04
    
The only way 7.2K RPM drives are going to outperform their smaller but faster 15K RPM cousins is by doing it with far more spindles. –  sysadmin1138 Aug 5 '10 at 23:07
    
It's worth mentioning that caching can have a big influence on this as well, both drive level and OS level caching. –  John Gardeniers Aug 6 '10 at 0:42
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