Has anyone tried these hybrid drives for virtualization? (More specifically Hyper-v + Raid or JBOD). I'm interested in how it performs as I'm running a few servers at home, and the disk I/O is killing it, and SSD is too expensive.
closed as off topic by Holocryptic, Chris S♦, Shane Madden, Zypher♦ Oct 8 '11 at 17:06
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Raptor drives would not help. But a caching hardware RAID disk controller would.
The main problem with the hybrid drives that I can see from the data sheet (I have never used one) is that the flash part would not cache writes, it is only used as a read cache and mainly there to speed up system and program startup. But it is the writes killing your virtualization performance as reads are (or at least can be) cached within your host's RAM anyway.
I don't have any direct experience with these drives, but it could be a good performer. The key thing from the spec sheet:
Which tells me that it's doing some kind of dynamic rebalancing of frequently hit data into the flash portion. Since the flash portion is SLC flash rather than MLC, its endurance is higher. Importantly, writes are faster than MLC. With only 4GB of it there won't be much data in the flash portion, but it's likely to be very important data; areas such as file-system metadata tables and possibly journals.
In a virtualization environment they'd perform a bit faster than the same size of regular drives. But how much faster I couldn't guess.