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Windows 7: Intel SSD x25-Extreme vs. OCZ Vertex 2 SATATII

11 May 2010   #1

Windows Web Server 2008 R2
Intel SSD x25-Extreme vs. OCZ Vertex 2 SATATII

I am building a Web Server using Windows Web Server 2008 R2 which I understand to be based on Windows 7 as for dealing with SSD drives and TRIM. I am getting so much different information for recommendations in other forums, hopefully someone here can clear this up for me. Some are insisting on Intel, swearing they blow away OCZ, but I see performance charts showing the new Vertex 2 consistently performing better then the X25 -Extreme

1.) Does using any form of RAID with Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 create the need to partition the drive only utilizing half of it. I have been told that there is no TRIM when using RAID.

2.) Is the OCZ Vertex 2 with Max Read: up to 285MB/s, Max Write: up to 275 MB/s, Sustained Write: up to 250 MB/s, and Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 50,000 IOPS now competitive with the Intel x25-Extreme drives featuring Sequential Access: Read up to 250MB/s, Sequential Access-Write: up to 170 MB/s (can't find an IOPS spec for random read/write).

Any information would be very much appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I guess I am confused as to why you would but an SSD drive into a web server. Your biggest bottleneck will be your internet speed by far.
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11 May 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

You can check some of the reviews and articles from Anandtech, it's a respected site.

OCZ's Vertex 2, Special Sauce SF-1200 Reviewed
The cost per GB of these drives is still higher than Intel’s X25-M, but you do get a corresponding increase in performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 May 2010   #4

Windows Web Server 2008 R2

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I guess I am confused as to why you would but an SSD drive into a web server. Your biggest bottleneck will be your internet speed by far.
There are actually several reasons, and not all have to do with performance. For example, 5 SSD's vx 5 VelociRaptors would use negligible power (needs smaller power supply) and will run much, much cooler (less fans, allows me to put them into 2U rack and maybe even 1U Rack).

But with regards to performance, wouldn't it be correct to say that with the speedier reads and writes to and from an SQL Database with RAIDED SSD's their would be much less latency in servicing the requests to the host? For example I am thinking that as mutliple users are making multiple requests to the Web Server that anything that can be done to minimize the times for reads and writes would be a big help. I am always learning, so if I am missing something please point it out to me.

Thanks for the reply
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #5

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit

The correct way to do this is to run the web server as a separate "machine" (virtual is preferable) running off a spinning mechanical disk, and another "machine" for database server with spinning mechanical disk for the database server software/OS, and separate arrays for database file/database logs.

But then again, all this falls down to how many users are you serving, if your user does a lot of things and you have a lot of hits per hour (say 6000 hits or more) then maybe using SSD will yield some benefit, BUT that depends to your database server tuning/application tuning/and many other factors. For a small website, running off a SAS disk (15K RPM) is more than enough. And by the way, you don't put SATA disks in "servers", unless we're talking about mid tier backup rack...

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11 May 2010   #6

W7 Pro 64

Definitely the Intel. they do more validation testing on this (new) technology. for servers you want to use their enterprise products with SLC chicps. (this applies to all brands). while OCZ sure has some good models, their large variety is confusing and many are slower. the ones that are good are expensive. Intel just has two lines, fast consumer (MLC), fast enterprise. and not fast and slow ones.

Maybe I'm too hard on OCZ, but relaibility on the long run is more important than a split second speed advantage. Compared to HDDs it will be superfast either way.

Random acces time is important. Intel is good at that, also on the long run. Sequential reading and writing Intel is not so good, but that doesn't really matter unless you deal with large files (movies etc.). The OS barely has large files, but accesses them randomly. Likely the case for databases too.

I don't think RAID gives you any advantage with SSD. First, you lose TRIM, second random access time may suffer. And as said before, sequential times are not really important.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #7

Windows Web Server 2008 R2

If I take the virtual machine approach, what do you recommend. VMWare?? If so, what version of VMWare? I was expecting to have separate machines for the Server/Database Server/Image Server/State Server, but I like the idea of a virtual machine.

I am using the Intel S5520HCR motherboard, with the new Intel Xeon 5620 Processor, expecting to have 12 GB Ram. I was expecting to only use one processor for now, but I like your recommendation of running the different systems "virtually". Should I go ahead and buy another Xeon X5620, have 18GB RAM, and run VMWare.

I have never used dual processors. Is there anything tricky about it? Does the operating system just recognize the two processors and run twice as fast. I assume they aren't treated as two different systems, right?

Also, I will probably punt the Raid 0 with the SSD's, and instead go with 2 big SSD's, and have them mirroring. Do you see any problem with two SSD's mirrored?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #8

W7 Pro 64

no problem with mirroring except for cost. Only use it if the data are critical.

Raid 0 with smaller SSD: the smaller SSD are slower than larger ones, so you only lose.
the Intel 40 GB SSD has half the chips in parallel as the 80 GB Intel SSD. When you do RAID 0 with 2 40 GB SSD, you come up with approx. same sequential performance as with one 80 GB SSD, but you give up total reliability, access speed and add cost and space needs.

dual CPU: yes, OS recognizes. Speed gain depends on application how multi-threaded it is. but likely not " twice as fast". I doubt anyone really needs more than 4 cores. doing 2 CPUs except in professional things is a waste. But my neighbor might have a Ferrari and still is stuck in traffic jam and speed limit is 65... big waste but to each his own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #9

Windows Web Server 2008 R2

Is VMware what you would recommend, and if so what version would I need for this? I will be handling a lot of photo's (real estate), so would it make sense to store the images on a complete different virtual machine, on the Application server virtual machine, or on the SQL Server Virtual Machine?

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If you want to use VMWare and get the best performance, you will have to use one of their hypervisor ESXi 4.0 U1. This is it's own operating system and there is an approved hardware list from VWare.

With regards to RAM....12-18GB of RAM is quite a bit for your needs. I run a handful of VMWare servers at work and most have 24GB of RAM and run 10-12 machines concurrently with every little issue.
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