MacPro: SSDify?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tricone, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Tricone macrumors newbie

    Tricone

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #1
    So my recently ordered MP will be my office's "mother server", onto which our "mission critical" software program will reside. Other iMac workstations will be accessing the software's database from the MP. I was surely going to install a large SSD as the system/program drive, but also have a second internal HD. The database isn't too large, and should easily fit along with the OS on a larger SSD, say a 500-600GB.

    I thought I was all set, but then I started reading about a seemingly disproportionate number of failure rates among some SSDs. I was close to purchasing the largest OWC Mercury SSD, but decided against it for the above reason. I'm looking at Intel SSDs not, in particular the 320 Series 300GB model. A friend of mine, however, believes that a SSD would have limited benefits in my application since the bottleneck is not really disk access. Rather, it is the limitations of the gigabit ethernet network (which probably isn't running at true gigabit speeds). Sooo . . . a few questions:

    1. Is the above statement true (more or less)
    2. Are SSDs as reliable or more reliable than your typical 7200RPM drive manufactured by Seagate or WD? (Or in terms of reliability, is it a wash)?
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #2
    It sounds like an SSD would benefit you slightly, simply because they are much faster than hard disk drives. I don't know the specifics of the machines on your network or weather the bottleneck is the gigabit ethernet versus storage drives, however I can comment that in my experience HDDs are more reliable than certain SSDs and I would never advise someone to use an SSD without a backup (or use HDDs without a backup for that matter). A SSD will benefit you more locally than it will over a network if your data transfer speeds between systems is bottlenecking, which it might be.
     
  3. Tricone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tricone

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #3
    I'll have redundant backup methods in place, as I have had more than a few computer-related failures in the past. Thanks for your input regarding SSDs. I'm starting to think the same way (when comparing to HDDs).
     
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #4
    Basically, if you can afford to put all of your data on one SSD, it'll speed up your Mac Pro quite a bit and will probably speed up your network by a small amount depending on the efficiency of your gigabit ethernet.
     
  5. saulinpa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #5
    1 - If the application is database server then the SSD will help and the Gigabit doesn't matter much as only requests & answers go over the wire. If it is more of a file server app then the disk doesn't matter much. Look at it this way: If you search records for X does the Pro send only those records or does the iMac have to scan the database itself by downloading every record?

    2 - If it is "mission critical" then downtime is an issue. Mirrored drives for system and data is needed for uptime to keep going after a drive fails. Doing backups is for disaster or user needs (restoring deleted or old data).

    There was only one article I saw that had real data on SSD reliability. It was about return rates. It showed Intel at 1/2 percent with the others at 2-3 percent if I remember right.
     
  6. Tricone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tricone

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the input!

    I once had a Dell Windoze-based Server that I equipped with redundant power supplies and an internal hardware RAID with multiple 15K RPM SCSI drives, all mirrored. I figured that the RAID would save me. Luckily, I also backed-up to an external drive, because what failed was the friggin' RAID controller card. Started writing "bad data" to the disks, and there she went.

    A colleague of mine backed-up his essential data over the network to a NAS. A switch or hub failed on him, which ultimately led to "bad data" being written not only to the backup, but incoming to the server.

    Just goes to show that anything can happen at any time.
     

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