Brian "Krow" Aker (krow) wrote,
Brian "Krow" Aker

Green Technology, Toss out your Solid State Drive?

Hard drives are noisy, eat electric, getting slower, and might go the way of the Doo-Doo.

About four years ago I found a PCI card that had 256megs of memory on it, and a battery that let it last 48 hours with no power to the computer.

Innodb log files! Yes, put the log files on it and watch the performance go up. It was a neat hack but for $800 a card it wasn't all that practical. The performance was nice, but it wasn't worth the
additional investment per machine for the card.

A number of months ago Jeremy Cole blogged about some solid state cards he was looking at. At around the same time I noticed and commented on "IDE" solid state drives coming to market.

Dinner on Tuesday night with Kevin Burton pushed this into my mind again. What was he looking at going with for his data center?

Solid state drives.

This is smart thinking, it makes a lot of sense.

The performance gain for using solid state hard drives for any database, not only MySQL, is a "no argument". Buying performance like this does require some cost analysis. You balance performance with cost. Not everyone buys fiber channel even if it buys performance.

The performance gain does not outweigh the cost.

Capacity though is a requirement. By capacity I mean the ability to put X amount of CPU in a given space.

Data center capacity is not a growing concern, it is an active concern.

Data centers need power, a lot of power. Their capacity is constrained by available power.

Green technology is common sense. Hard drives have moving parts that generate heat, eat electric, and have high failure rates.

Green technology means capacity because data centers can pack in more hardware.

Tom's Hardware gave a price of $25 per gig almost a year ago. Tom was reviewing a 32 gig drive at the time (which... at 64 I don't need a hard drive in my laptop... I keep my mp3 on my iPod not my laptop).

Today we are looking at about $19 a gig, with 128gig drives coming to market.

This is a premium, when you consider SATA half terabyte disks are at $100 (which works out to 19 cents a gig!).

How much of a price tag do you put on capacity?


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