It’s All About IOPS


When it comes to Server storage options, there are good options and bad. With today’s multi-core processors and high memory capacity, the one typical bottleneck of server performance is IOPS (input / output operations per second) of the disk subsystem. Most Ultrabooks come with an SSD (Solid State Drive) and performance is outstanding and it’s all because SSD disks deliver outstanding IOPS. (For more information check out our article on workstation performance.) SSD’s do not have any moving parts like traditional hard drives which makes them less susceptible to failure and delivers far better speeds. Below, you can see a comparison between different Hard Drives. Obviously, the SSD listed at the top far out-performs the standard rotary platter style Hard Drive. The “Seat of the Pants” difference in speed between traditional Hard Drives, and a Solid State Hard Drive is night and day. 



This would lead one to think, ???????Why not fill our New Server with SSDs???????  The problem is the cost per Terabyte of storage.  A 3TB traditional Hard Drive can be purchased for about $100 or $30 per Terabyte.  A 500GB SSD drive costs about $200 or about $400 per Terabyte.



When you do the math and it quickly becomes too expensive to provision 2 Terabytes of storage for a server using SSDs.  So how do we balance reasonable cost with good server performance?  RAID or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.  RAID provides both Fault Tolerance to prevent data loss in the event of a Disk failure, but also provides performance by spreading the total IOPS across multiple disks.  When additional performance is needed, SSDs can be added to greatly increase even the performance of a RAID array, while retaining their cost effective nature.


Typical desktop hard drives can access data at between 3Gbps and 6Gbps.  The latest Server Hard Drives can access the data at 12Gbps (SAS).  Many times a vendor will quote you a server with the equivalent of Desktop Hard Drives (SATA) in a Server Chassis, which looks good on paper but the performance will be poor.  Servers should be provisioned with SAS Drives not SATA to get better performance and better life.  Servers run 24-7-365, and SAS Drives are designed to run under these conditions.  Desktop Hard drives are designed to run 8-5-260.

Carefully selecting what drive to use for a particular job is important. Let us help assess your needs  and help find the balance between cost and performance. Download our infographic to learn why working with an IT services company will benefit you! {{cta(’77c90b08-429a-4166-92a2-492c32e50135′)}}