Solid State Disk & Data Vault

in case you were wondering, or have never heard of solid state disk – or haven’t checked it out, i encourage you to do so. solid state disk is a hybrid between programmable ram and disk drive hardware to replace a physical read/write head on magnetic type of media. it speeds up your servers and laptops anywhere between 20x and 150x.

theres a study with sqlserver and ssd that provides some interesting findings, and interesting numbers. i’d encourage you to check it out. i’m impressed with the performance, but it goes deeper than that. i’ve written before about temperature of data, well with ssd you don’t need to “worry” too much about temperature of data, as all the data on the ssd ends up being mostly in ram.

however, because of the price/cost barrier – i would strongly suggest that “hot data” or operational data that is flowing in to the data vault be put on ssd, and the rest on traditional storage. this will help to manage cost, and performance gains. by exercising this type of architecture with the data vault, the benefits of the dv model in partitioning become very very clear. the benefits include being able to put only the hubs, links, and satellites that are affected by the operational data – on the ssd components. there is no need (unless you can afford it) to put the entire data vault model on the ssd. but the performance gains are huge, huge, huge.

now, you have the flexibility of the dv model, while at the same time – the performance of the ssd under the covers. what a win! to top it off, if you add enough cpu power, you can stay on a massive smp system, and increase parallel query engines with incredible efficiency gains. (that’s the one thing the author of the article didn’t yet talk about – is what kind of partitioning and parallel query they had configured – if any).

i recommend ssd to those of you suffering with performance problems, and some hardware upgrade funding to help along the way. but again, go lightly (like the article says), only replace the parts of your data warehouse that are most used, or suffer from the most performance issues.

remember this: ssd in laptops and desktops are not the same as enterprise ssd drives (hence the cost difference). server based ssd drives are built with different technology and can respond to raid cards within the server, and different types of memory allocations and bandwidth. but ssd in your laptop can increase your laptops performance by at least 10x, however the down side (i’ve heard) is ssd draws a significant amount of battery power – when on battery.

do you have questions about ssd and data vault? i’d like to hear them.

dan l

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