Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Intel Modular Server and Intel Solid-State Drive Performance IDF2009 Presentation

The 2009 Intel Developer Forum presentations are all available online here:

Of particular interest to us is the presentation on configuring Intel X25-M or X25-E Solid-State Drives with the 2.5” drive MFSYS25 series Intel Modular Server.


This particular presentation runs about an hour is chock full of good information comparing the performance characteristics of traditional spindle based SAS drives and Intel’s Solid-State Drives.

There are some pretty good explanations of the various features and abilities of the Intel Modular Server too.

A point in the session that we have focused on here has to do with the actual I/O performance (IOPs) of the onboard SAN storage in the IMS (MFSYS25) with either SAS or SSD drives installed:


Note that when it comes to actual disk performance, the read and write throughput (MB/Sec) numbers are important, but those numbers become a moot point if the hard drive’s IOPs capabilities are relatively low.

IOPs (Wikipedia), or the number of Input/Output Operations Per Second a drive is capable of can make or break a server setup whether it is serving a very busy database or a series of IMS SAN located VHDs for VMs running in a cluster.

Even the largest RAID 10 array can perform quite poorly if the drives running in that RAID array have a relatively low IOPs capability.


Based on our own experiences with the Intel X25-M series Solid-State Drives, the above SSD performance slide is quite realistic considering that the X25-E series drives have an even higher IOPs capability than the X25-M drives.

The Solid-State Drives do indeed trump the traditional spindle based drives, even with a spindle rotational speed of 15,000 RPM, by huge margins.

So, our storage configurations need to be planned based on what each server node will be doing or storage sharing with the other nodes.

A blog post will follow to develop our thoughts on IMS storage options.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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