Solid State Drive (SSD) technology has become accepted and broadly used in enterprise storage. SSDs are extremely fast, but are expensive for higher capacity deployments, so efficient use of the technology is critical to maximize performance while keeping costs down. ActiveStor 14 and 16 leverage SSDs to deliver highly optimized, high performance storage for mixed workloads - large file throughput and small file IOPS.
All of the SSDs in ActiveStor are used as a fully integrated storage tier within the file system, focused on optimizing metadata and small file performance. The SSD layer is used to store both metadata and file data, specifically:
- Metadata for files of all sizes. Metadata is accessed frequently so fast metadata access means a significant benefit for all types of workloads. All file operations, including reads and writes, require access to metadata. In many cases, such as directory listings, access to the metadata is all that is required to satisfy an I/O request.
- File data for small files. Small file access can be disproportionately slow when read from, or written to, standard hard disk drives. Accesses of less than a full sector are inefficient, particularly for random I/O. Furthermore, reads and writes of small files can conflict with streaming reads or writes of large files to the same disk. By maintaining small files on SSD, such conflicts are eliminated. Finally, ActiveStor stores the first 12KB of all files inside the file system metadata, improving SSD efficiency while increasing small file performance.