I'm looking to configure a storage setup, using ssd's, that will deliver the fastest read throughput on large (2+ GB) files on a 24 core (12 physical core) system.

The data is static for the most part, although occasionally (1x/week) it is rewritten. The app we are running executes simultaneous reads on each of its 24 cores (ie, we have a thread per core; each thread is reading from 1 2+gb file at a time). SSD failure, while not pleasant, is not catastrophic, as it is just a matter of copying the data back from HDD storage. And the app is NOT doing small read/writes; just big, long sequential reads.

We need about 2 TB storage total.

I'm trying to sift through all the conflicting info out there: faster to RAID 0 a bunch of ssd's, or would a single REVO 3x pcie be just as fast (as I understand it, the REVO drive is basically a raid-type array of ssd drives on a single card). Are there bandwidth saturations issues with SATA3/RAID?

If a REVO-type drive is the way to go are there any bandwidth saturation issues if we put 2 or 3 of these things on the same motherboard?

  • 2
    I would approach this from the opposite end. What read throughput do you need to reach your goals? – jeffatrackaid Jan 4 '12 at 18:31

The PCIe connection is screamingly fast, and will get you the performance you need in a single device.

To get what you're looking for with SATA-based SSDs, you'll need to build a multiple-channel array. Since the top end of SSDs can fully saturate a 6Gb SATA channel, you'll need a 6Gb SATA channel for each drive. The engineering on that can get complex, which in turn leads to fragile, which suggests an all-in-one device like the PCIe card would be the more stable solution.

  • Perfect...that is the sort of definitive answer I kept trying to find on the Net, and could not. – PaeneInsula Jan 4 '12 at 21:09
  • What bit of engineering multiple 6Gbps channels gets complex and fragile? All modern SAS and SATA RAID 6Gbps controllers provide 6Gbps channels per port, so this doesn't seem like it's a problem to me – Daniel Lawson Jan 22 '12 at 21:41
  • I've had bad experience with some of the OCZ Z-drive PCI-e SSDs. OCZ change their PCI-e SSDs quite frequently, which is a major put off for me, but I've also seen relatively poor performance and poor stability due to physical/mechanical issues in some models. That will be very dependant on the model used, and more recent models may be OK, but it's enough that I'm very cautious of using any OCZ PCI-e SSDs at this point (and the high revision rate is enough to make them useless to me, but that may not affect you much) – Daniel Lawson Jan 22 '12 at 21:44

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