The efficacy of Intel SSD drives for transactional environments over traditional spinning media was demonstrated in one of many Intel case studies that the company shared with the CRN Test Center in a recent media briefing. The study sought to reduce the number of drives required to eliminate the random I/O workload and bottleneck often experienced when a large number of VMs share a single storage area network. The I/O traffic of a SAN that serviced 500 client VMs was found to have a read/write ratio of about 90 reads to every 10 writes and required a random processing capacity of 100K 4K IOPS.
To service a workload of this size, a traditional storage system as defined by Intel consisted of 500 15K SAS drives (one 300-GB drive for each VM), required 42U of rack space and cost $145K. Intel claims that just 12 of its 800-GB S3500 Series drives service the same workload for a fraction of the cost and power consumption (see chart).