Faster than you can denfrenstrate a DVD
January 9, 2013 12:35 PM   Subscribe

How fast is a PC with 24 SSD drives RAIDed for maximum throughput? FAST!
posted by Mitheral (32 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This seems like it's sort of out-of-date and was regurged onto youtube by some content scraper? -- cortex

Probably CPU bound?
posted by jaduncan at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

since I can't watch this right now, exactly what raid config uses 24 drives? is this 24 drives in full parallel? That would be fast.
posted by GuyZero at 12:40 PM on January 9, 2013

brb, defragging my ssd.
posted by mullingitover at 12:42 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't think they ever actually mentioned the RAID type they were using. Maybe in those slides at the very end but I couldn't pause fast enough to read them all.
posted by kmz at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2013

This is some fairly good marketing by Samsung, I must say.

At some point we'll have drives and interfaces that do 2 Gigabytes/second by themselves. What will we use it for?
posted by MikeWarot at 12:45 PM on January 9, 2013

brb, defragging my ssd.

Yeah, I thought that was strange.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:46 PM on January 9, 2013

What will we use it for?

Cat videos. Obviously.
posted by wabbittwax at 12:46 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

But can it really match with the fizzly speed of 24 shaken-up Pepsi Blues?
posted by dubusadus at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2013

that is effing frightening.
posted by DigDoug at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2013

Yeah, but couldn't he just get a Mac?
posted by the noob at 12:49 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ok, this is an old marketing video. It was mildly interesting back in 2011 when SSDs were exotic... but I've got 4 in my desktop and I'm /very/ rarely IO bound. 32GB of RAM is a better use of resources than additional SSDs at this point.

Grumpy old man mode - The server I regularly use has 12 in it. Servers with hot-swap 2.5" drives aren't even that unusual these days, you can buy them off-the-shelf with 32 drives. No one is putting laptop spinning disks in there I bet. All the cool kids are using SSDs on cards anyway, no SATA overhead and they're basically internally RAID'd already.

Get those kids off my lawn etc.
posted by samworm at 12:55 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why would you defrag a SSD?

And what does it prove? That it was fast? You know what's even faster than that? Not doing it.
posted by CarlRossi at 12:56 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ok, finally getting to watch it... it's hilarious that the best thing they can think of doing with 2GB/s of disk bandwidth is to open Microsoft Office. Not like doing genome sequencing work or something. Just opening Office.
posted by GuyZero at 12:57 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

4GB of 800MHz ram? So this is from 2008 then? What, is he running 32bit Windows or something? Weak sauce.

And opening all those apps in that amount of memory exercised those disks in ways I don't think he realized, because it was going to be swapping out to disk after the first 10 or so.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:59 PM on January 9, 2013

This is a touch of cool, but mostly a cargo-cult combination of vaguely-scientific type steps combined with flat-out misunderstandings of computer architecture.

It's kinda... sobering... to think that this might be how most people work with computers in a short amount of time. "I banged on it and it keeps working... I emptied my trashes..."
posted by odinsdream at 1:00 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

So it's fast enough to keep up with OS and app bloat. That's... fast?

(they're hamstrung by the fact that explaining to a lay audience a task for this rig that would actually be interesting would take more time than the whole video)
posted by gurple at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2013

Faster than you can denfrenstrate a DVD

I do not know how one would denfrenstrate a DVD, let alone defenestrate a DVD.
Maybe just exit Windows?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

: "4GB of 800MHz ram? So this is from 2008 then?"

Yeah, that's about when I remember first seeing this. I wonder what they could do with modern SSDs, think of how quickly they could be degragmented now!
posted by mullingitover at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2013

There are PCIe-based products like FusionIO that--depending on how much money you want to shell out--can go MUCH faster than this.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2013

Temple ov thee Lemur did it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better back when it was worth doing.
posted by samworm at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2013

It says he is an IT genius, and he has his hair dyed a weird color so of can tell he isn't a suit. I'm sure he knows what he is doing.

Nowadays he could run multiple VMs, and he could delete stuff and defrag on each one all at the same time!
posted by Ad hominem at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well there's fiber channel, but presumably the appeal is that they're doing this in a "normal" pc. and wires, so many wires.
posted by GuyZero at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2013

I think this is possibly the original upload of this vid to youtube from 2009. The one in the post may be linkbait for the dgboost site linked in the comment.
posted by titus-g at 1:12 PM on January 9, 2013

Also, given various system bottlenecks, it seems improbable to me that on any standard consumer PC architecture, striping across 24 disks is going to get you any performance improvement over, say, 4 disks.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:12 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

jaduncan: "Probably CPU bound?"

Maybe, but I think he's going to run into limitations of the PCI bus before anything else -- he actually even noted that he hit the limits of his RAID card when putting all 24 devices on the same card. Had he done his homework beforehand, he would have easily come to that conclusion, but I digress...

The SSDs he's using can theoretically perform sequential read operations at up to 500MB/sec. This estimate is probably optimistic, but not completely unrealistic.

The RAID controllers he used are PCI Express x8 devices. Assuming they're using PCIe 2.0, that's only 4GB/sec of bandwidth (2GB/sec if it's PCIe 1.0 -- I couldn't tell from either the cards' spec sheets).

Theoretically, he's going to saturate the PCI bus by attaching any more than 8 drives to a single card (4 for PCIe 1.0). In reality, he'll probably hit that limit sooner. The RAID controller won't be 100% efficient, so he won't get the full 4GB/sec out of those drives either...

Depending on how your processor/motherboard is configured, adding extra RAID cards won't always help either -- PCIe slots often share bandwidth with each other. Given that such high levels of sustained I/O bandwidth are quite rare in the real world, you don't see this limitation discussed all that often.

He ended up attaching 10 drives to one card, 8 drives to a second, and the remaining 6 directly to the motherboard. I'll bet he could have hit the same performance levels with fewer drives.

So, basically, the CPU is one bottleneck, but the system's buses also aren't really designed to accommodate this kind of I/O either.

1970s Antihero: "There are PCIe-based products like FusionIO that--depending on how much money you want to shell out--can go MUCH faster than this."

Yep -- similar limitations there too. The top-of-the-line FusionIO SSD can theoretically pump 6.7GBps through a PCIe 2.0 x16 interface (which has a theoretical maximum of 8GBps). I'd have to imagine that the bus is the limiting factor for that product, and I'm honestly a bit surprised that they can achieve those data rates with so little overhead.
posted by schmod at 1:14 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

For some reason I am reminded of the USB drive shootouts that Ars Technica used to run. My favorite test was they'd create a small RAID array with them to see how they performed. (Better than expected, though somewhat limited in utility.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2013

FrankenRAID is quaint.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:24 PM on January 9, 2013

It says something about me that I'm now busily benchmarking my own home storage array in an effort to find something snarky to say about this video.

So here's my addition: With 3 spinning media hard drives in "raidz1" configuration (loss of one drive doesn't lose any data), it's easy to get sustained read rates of at least 240MB/s (the underlying drives can sustain 150MB/s each), so I'd sure hope you'd see rates like 2GB/s from 24 SSDs, even if they're of 2008 vintage.

If I don't take care to benchmark reading something that it is not in memory cache, I only get to ~1.7GB/s, which is a bit sad.
posted by jepler at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2013

Honestly, my favorite part of modern SSDs is not having to mess with RAID to get decent throughput. I never did use a consumer-level RAID chipset that didn't have some horrible gotcha bug just waiting to strike.
posted by gilrain at 1:28 PM on January 9, 2013

Floppy RAID array
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:29 PM on January 9, 2013

Those FusionIO cards are nuts. At That Very Large Website I Used To Work For I was using them on a bunch of my servers. Unnamed Vendor kept giving us different SSD configurations to try and compete with them, and it was never even close.

Oddly in a lot of cases I got worse performance from the SSDs than the Raid 1+0 of traditional disks we were using pre-fusion.

The first time I tested a fusion machine and it completed an operation that took 15 minutes previously in just a few seconds I was sure something had just gone wrong. Nope.
posted by flaterik at 1:30 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

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