Wednesday, August 4, 2010

OCZ Z-drive R2 Failure

It went out and took an Oracle DB with it. Luckily, it was a non-important copy of a schema we test with.
Now that I really think about it, it's really STUPID to sell a storage product labeled "enterprise ready" that only supports RAID0. Why? Choose a RAID controller that can support RAID10, double the NAND cards onboard, build an 8-way RAID10 array on the card and jack the price up accordingly. That's how it works now, but only in RAID0. There are 8 "banks" of 2 NAND modules each. Each of those 8 banks appears as a physical disk to the LSI RAID controller. One whole bank died and took the entire DB with it, seeing how it was RAID0. Strike one. I poke around in the RAID BIOS, see it only supports RAID0 and RAID1, and physical disk 6 is missing. Strike 2.  There will be no chance for a strike 3. The great rep I have @Dell understood completely and setup the RMA for a full refund.

Now it's time to investigate the OWC/Corsair Sandforce-based SSD disks. Maybe 12 of 'em in RAID10 would give the IOPS and raw performance at the lower cost that we crave. I like the Fusion IO product, but I am skittish of placing multiple DB's on one PCI-E card now. Maybe 12 disks in RAID10 would let me sleep easier and not hurt the budget as much as multiple Fusion IO cards per server. I've already figured that I can put 12x ~200GB Sandforce-based SSD's in 4 servers, 5 each in 3 other servers, 4 each in 2 servers for less money than 3 Fusion IO IODrive Duo cards in the forthcoming 1.2TB size. Don't get me wrong, the Fusion IO product is GREAT and ideal, but my small-medium sized business can't justify the extra cost of the Fusion IO product. I can minimize the single-point of failure by using 12 physical SSD's in RAID10. I have never had a single SaS/SATA controller failure in the past ~12 years. I know it happens, but not to me, yet. That part will be covered under a 24x7 4-hour hardware replacement agreement with Dell. I'm not worrying with it too much.

I plan to get four of them to test in a RAID10 array soon. Not sure on which yet, Corsair or OWC. I might try both.  I'll be sure to do a detailed writeup and benchmark post if it happens. Four disks should give a good indication of the performance scalability of the drives.

On another note, I'm planning on putting 2 of the Corsair 120GB Sandforce-based SSD's in my personal 27" iMac in RAID0 in the near future. I want 200gb+ and the performance of 2 disks. Costs about the same as one 240GB one, but with higher performance. I know, 2 in an iMac? How? Well, replacing the stock 1TB disk, and pulling the internal Superdrive out, using this to install the 2nd SSD in the Superdrive bay. Then, putting the Superdrive in an external USB/Firewire enclosure.

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