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Windows 7: Overprovisioning Solid State Drives

04 May 2019   #1
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 
Overprovisioning Solid State Drives

I overprovision all of my solid state drives. But I have also heard about "thick" provisioning and "thin" provisioning, which one does "overprovisioning" refer to, if either of them?

I have looked this up all over the place, but I can't seem to find a direct answer to this question. I actually need to know the answer to this question for configuration issue.

Thanks


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04 May 2019   #2
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Thick and Thin provisioning are not related to SSD provisioning

Say you have two hungry teenagers (Jim and Bob) sitting down to breakfast and two boxes of frosted flakes in the pantry. Thick provisioning is writing Bob on one box and Jim on the other box, then handing the boxes to the boys. Thin provisioning is writing Jim on one BOWL and Bob on the other bowl, then putting both boxes on the table and letting the boys have at it. With thin provisioning they might not end up eating the same amount which is more efficient since there is less uneaten cereal, however with thick they both know going in that they each have a whole box and no one else is going to beat them to it. Thin and Thin provisioning only applies when there are multiple people (or multiple computer systems) sharing the cereal (storage).

SSD provisioning is not related to either of the above, its just a way of carving out a certain amount of the SSD disk space (7% is the common number) ahead of time that will be unavailable to the user and instead is used by the disk's storage controller. That's why your SSD drive may be a weird number like 240GB instead of a factor of 2 like HDD's are. (Divide your SSD storage by 0.93 and you will usually arrive at a factor of 2) That unusable space is important because data-writing is different for an SSD vs an HDD. Think of a crowded movie theater. In an SSD, if Ron wants to take Bill's seat (like data on a disk that is being updated), the whole row of people have to get up from their seat in order for the seating update to occur. The overprovisioned disk space is like extra seats that everyone can quickly hop into which is faster AND easier on the seats themselves. SSD's use NAND flash storage, which are like seats that wear out quickly. So having overprovisioned space ends up allowing the disk to last longer as well as perform faster. Compare all that to an HDD world, where the people have wings and can fly in and out of their seats one at a time without bothering the whole row, AND on top of that the seats are much more durable and do not wear out, and you can see why having spare seats (overprovisioned disk space) dedicated to the update process is not needed with an HDD, which is why it is a new concept to many. The analogy fails in some detailed respects but that is a brief overview
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04 May 2019   #3
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
The analogy fails in some detailed respects but that is a brief overview
- No, it DOESN'T, that was perfect. Thanx.

So - If I set Over Provisioning, this has nothing to do with Thin or Thick provisioning? I need to know if I have Thin Provisioning set in any way, because my Crucial Storage Executive has no "Trim" feature, which I usually set to automatic once a week for Samsung EVO 850's. So I have to use the latest version of Raxco Perfectdisk, which has an alleged "safe" way to "defragment" the drive that earlier versions did not have. In fact I didn't know about not using defragmenters on SSDs until I bricked an OS that was installed onto an EVO... The defrag process killed both MFTs and the data was inaccessible. But the new version of Perfect Disk is not at all like the way it defrags an HDD now, there is a dedicated SSD optimization method, I read the datasheet for it, and I think it will be safe.

It is more like a glorified TRIM function and performs NO writing on the disk whatsoever. It just cleans up those sectors where I have Data left over from deleted files. The guys at Micron said I did now have to worry about Trim, but I think I do since I am using this as a system drive (MX200's are made more for storage than for using as a system drive, and the Storage Executive reflects that), and I can't use those features like Flex Capacity and Momentum Cache, Flex is for storage only and Momentum Cache is only for battery powered laptops- and I had that turned on which was a big no-no, so I have to shut that off and reboot ASAP.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jonhoh
the whole row of people have to get up from their seat in order for the seating update to occur.
-

So the question is, IF I have Thin Provisioning, HOW do I find out if I have it or not?

Thanks again 100% for that absolutely perfect analogy.
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04 May 2019   #4
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

thin and thick are settings within a virtualized system with multiple virtual partitions. Are you using VMware and multiple partitions are sharing your SSD? If not, thin and thick are not a part of what you are doing, they do not apply to single user systems. But if you are, even then, the SSD provisioning is set at the disk level at the outset, and the remaining USABLE storage may be thin or thick provisioned within the context of your virtualized systems. If you are using vmware for virtualization then (I assume) the thick or thin definitions are a part of that product. But SSD provisioning has nothing to do with the OS you are using or vmware, it comes before an OS is even involved.
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04 May 2019   #5
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
thin and thick are settings within a virtualized system with multiple virtual partitions. Are you using VMware and multiple partitions are sharing your SSD? If not, thin and thick are not a part of what you are doing, they do not apply to single user systems. But if you are, even then, the SSD provisioning is set at the disk level at the outset, and the remaining USABLE storage may be thin or thick provisioned within the context of your virtualized systems. If you are using vmware for virtualization then (I assume) the thick or thin definitions are a part of that product. But SSD provisioning has nothing to do with the OS you are using or vmware, it comes before an OS is even involved.
Great, that answers it DEFINITIVELY. I was just wondering if my SSD software was doing some kind of Virtualization, but the partition itself would have to be expandable like my VMware VMDK's. But I just needed to make SURE. THANKS. So I know I can shut off that switch asking if the Drive is "Thin Provisioned" - I guess if I had several Virtual machines on my SSD, THOSE would be thin partitioned? But not the entire Windows partition on the SSD Drive I suppose.

I think I see how it works: if I was using the SSD specifically for the Virtual Disk image, like if I had it set up as a storage drive and was running my VM's from there, the actual physical partition would not really be a set size, would it? The size would change according to what my VM was doing?

I was reading about Thin and Thick provisioning yesterday, but at the time It made no sense, now it does, to some extent, even though I'm probably wrong (heh).
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04 May 2019   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

You're overthinking this. All you need to do is leave the factory overprovisioning alone (the factory will have already set the overprovisioning at the correct amount needed for that drive) and leave at least 20-25%% free space (unused space) on the drive for the best performance and write life.
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05 May 2019   #7
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
You're overthinking this. All you need to do is leave the factory overprovisioning alone (the factory will have already set the overprovisioning at the correct amount needed for that drive) and leave at least 20-25%% free space (unused space) on the drive for the best performance and write life.
Well, it's not about the overprovisioning settings, it's about the proper settings for my maintenance program, and I have my answer. The Overprovising is like any other SSD, the support software for the drive does it all automatically. That's not even the issue at all.

I needed to know how to set the right configuration for a "Trim" op on my 3rd party maintenance software, and now I have the proper settings. The reason why I brought this up at all is because a misunderstanding about how to set something up caused me to brick an SSD partition and louse up the MFTs, both of them, and Testdisk could not even fix it.

So, before I run this Trim software, I needed to know exactly how to set it, because one wrong setting can cause Brick City. I think I have it set properly now, but it doesn't hurt to go over every setting once again just to make sure I have it right. Thanks anyway.
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05 May 2019   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

What is this TRIM software?
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12 May 2019   #9
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
What is this TRIM software?

Basically, software that can do THIS

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TRIM:
SSD TRIM is complementary to garbage collection. The TRIM command enables the operating system (OS) to preemptively notify the SSD which data pages in a particular block can be erased, allowing the SSD's controller to more efficiently manage the storage space available for data. TRIM eliminates any unnecessary copying of discarded or invalid data pages during the garbage collection process to save time and improve SSD performance.
Since my Crucial software does not have any performance optimization feature at all, I had to locate a 3rd party tool that can do this for me on a weekly schedule- Perfectdisk 14 seemed to have what I needed, but I am still looking for something better.

In order to set up the task, there were settings in the program that I needed to find out about before I even tried it, had I used the wrong settings I could have bricked my OS installation by fouling my MFT. And I really needed to do something, because I do a lot of Video editing which includes moving Video files in and out of the Workspace I have set up on the Drive. Of course I keep the project files on my WD AV-GP Video Drive, but whenever I open a project, the files are moved into my Video Program Work folder, and then back out when I am done. Which leaves chunks of my edits in the Workspace folder. I delete as many of these as I can find, but there are still bunches of clips left here and there. If I find a better tool that can handle my Trim, I'll use it.
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 Overprovisioning Solid State Drives




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