Home Lab Juice : RevoDrive

I do a lot of work on my home workstation. Because of that I had not pulled the trigger on a laptop SSD unlike 90% of my teammates. This week I have been working on a project that was pushing the edge of what my pair of WD VelociRaptor hard drives could push. I had 9 virtual machines with all kinds of fun stuff going on plus running the regular OS overhead.

RevoDrive_PCIe_SSDSo I was looking around at SSDs and stumbled upon the OCZ RevoDrive. Not something you would put into your laptop but seriously cool way of adding some serious horsepower to a workstation. I  checked the reviews and they basically said that only the Fusion IO cards would outstrip these bad boys one on one. And since I don’t like paying $40 a GB for storage I thought I would give this a go.

Today I received my RevoDrive (got to love Amazon day shipping) and popped it into my workstation. And all I can say is I am in love. Not only is this thing fast but I never realized how loud my VelociRaptors are (now that is a great out-of-context quote) until that stopped being hammered.

For those that like stats here is a ton of benchmarks I ran with IOMeter using 8 outstanding IO/s and a mix of test types (Click for bigger pic).

iops iops_rw

 

Looking at IOps you see what you expect. Tons of throughput for a set of MLC running in a RAID through a PCIe interface. You can also see that true to SSD patterns small random is where the money is at. The write spike about middle of the bottom picture is likely a fluke of the test.

mbps mbps_rw

Great MBps speed with almost 325 MBps peak on large block sequential.

art art_rw

This is by far my favorite sets of graphs. You know what is great about SSD? Linear response times… No hockey stick curve where that last VM makes everything fall over. There is not a single IO that doesn’t respond in less than 2.5ms. I think the SSD & PCIe combo is really effective here.

So if you have seen from the details above I am ecstatic about the new addition to my moneymaker. I did a couple things right off the bat:

  1. Moved pagefile to SSD drive only. I have 12GB of RAM but if I do start to swap it won’t be as rough.
  2. Moved all major IO (see Windows 2k8 / VSA) VM’s over.
  3. Wished I bought a bigger one because I am out of PCIe slots 😦

The performance in my home lab is phenomenal now. Using resource monitor I watched my VM disk request response times go from 15-40 ms to <1 ms across the board. And this is with 9 virtual machines running tons of stuff including 4 SQL servers and two VSA’s replicating.

This card does not have TRIM/Garbage collection so we will see how my workload patterns affect performance over time. Supposedly there is a manual TRIM/Garbage collection tool on the horizon. Drop a comment with your configs or questions.

.nick

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