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I have a Corsair Force Series SSD harddrive which I plan to put in a 1 unit linux box as a linux server.

The server itself will be making a lot of random reads and very little writes, which makes SSD fit perfectly. It is a web-server serving a lot of pages which are created dynamically from database. All logging and statistics will be disabled to decrease the wear of the SSD drive. (All of our sites use google analytics for the analytics).

I have been recommended CentOS 5.5 (64Bit in my case) in general for webservers. But it does not have TRIM support (as far as I can see).

I am relying on the datacenter to install the drivers/kernel, because I do not have the sufficient linux skills required for that and am planning on using webbycart to do the hardening/security setup. (the security for the webapps (PHP/MYSQL) I am responsible for of course).

What would you recommend? A linux distro with TRIM support OR centOS and update the kernel to a newer that supports it?

I have read that EXT4 is a good filesystem for SSD's on production. so I am sticking with that unless there is a stable and better alternative.

Is there anything else that needs to be installed/disabled etc. for SSD's?

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3 Answers 3

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People generally recommend CentOS or Debian for servers because they are conservative distributions, but in practice this doesn't mean a lot - especially for a humble web server, which is really just a network file server. Pretty much any Linux distro will be fine, so don't sweat too much over that.

What is more important is that the server is monitored (is the web server up? how's the disk space?, etc), and updated now and again with security patches.

BTW: Linux has a very sophisticated memory caching mechanism on top of disk access. So, unless your web site is much bigger than available memory (unlikely), then the SSD won't make any difference at all.

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Okay, thank you, will consider using regular disks. –  Milou Dec 2 '10 at 12:54

All logging and statistics will be disabled...sites use google analytics

I don't think this is a very good idea. Although logs are of limited value for security purposes they are not without value. And while Google Analytics provides great marketing analysis its poor at measuring performance and worse for analysing functional issues. If you really don't want a conventional disk running all the time, you could keep the logs on a ram disk then use frequent logrotates to push them out across the network, or keep a disk in standby mode.

Rather than looking for a system with TRIM support and running EXT4 on the SSD, you might want to consider using JFFS2 - which is specifically designed to prolong SSDs.

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Still not sure whether to use JFFS2 or EXT4 with TRIM support on the lower level. Ram disk might also optimize the experience with a regular disk for the logs versus an SSD. –  Milou Dec 2 '10 at 12:57

You want CentOS 6.4 and not CentOS 5.5
CentOS 6.4 has ext4 and TRIM (you will need to add 'discard' as mount option).

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