I spend a fair amount of my time administering large databases and trying to squeeze the maximum speed out of computer hardware. The types of databases I work on are typically in the 1-2TB range and the disks that they run on have to support a mix of bulk writes, bulk deletes, random writes and random reads. Some of the systems I work on can burst at up to 500MB/s and sustain random write speeds of 250MB/s. Your typical SATA2 drive for home use supports a maximum sequential write speed of around 60MB/s, and they run slower still when doing lots of random IO, so getting 250MB/s sustained random write speeds requires some special hardware.
This is why I was so impressed with a demo I saw of the new Samsung SSD (solid state drive). Since these drives are solid state — no moving parts — they have 220MB/s sequential read and 200MB/s sequential write speeds. If you tie a bunch of them together in a RAID configuration you can speed writes up even more, which is what the guy in the video below did. The end result was a desktop server that could read and write sequential data at 2GB/s.
Usually when I see demos like this the caveat is that the total amount of space available is 80MB or so. Not the case here. These new drives are 256GB each, and the RAID array built below has a total capacity of 6TB.
Check this out. If you’re into high-speed hardware using off-the-shelf parts, this is just incredible.
One thing to note, the demo does not show random read/write speeds. All of the guy’s demonstrations are of sequential IO speed. This is significant, because in the past SSD drives slow down significantly if they’re asked to do random IO, and you want lots of speed for random IO if you want to use these drives for database applications.