Q

How to install SSD in a system designed for traditional HDDs

Marc Staimer says there are a number of things to consider before installing flash in a system designed around hard drives in this Expert Answer.

I read an article recently in which an expert advised against installing SSDs into an existing system because SSDs still need significant amounts of engineering to ensure that they are working optimally, and that it is better to deploy a system designed for SSDs so you can rely on the vendor for ongoing maintenance. Is that a legitimate concern?

That expert is correct. Most traditional storage systems were not designed with SSDs in mind. They're optimized for HDDs and expect HDD performance. Throw SSDs into the mix and nasty things can happen.

SSDs can overwhelm the storage processor. SSDs can cause HDDs to be starved. It is very important that the storage system has been optimized with SSDs in mind, or there can and will be issues that will have to be dealt with.

Do not exceed vendor-supported maximums; otherwise, be prepared to suffer the consequences. Those consequences are rarely insignificant.

Editor's note: For more information on how to install SSD into a system designed around HDDs, check out "Experts offer SSD installation advice for DIY approach."

This was last published in May 2013

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Very True Marc. The interaction between SSD and HDD is a complex one to ensure you get the performance and efficiency you need and if systems were not designed for it they will generally be inefficient in their use of SSD to get the performance you want for your applications. It is all about overall systems architecture. - From Lee Johns (@storageologist) - VP Product Management @ Starboard Storage Systems www.starboardstorage.com
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