SSD or memory for database files?

Here are six reasons why using a SSD or File Cache may be a better alternative to in-memory database files.

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Faced with storage-related database performance issues, users may consider placing database files in memory. Although this can be done, it can be a risky proposition. Here are six reasons why using a Solid State Disk (SSD) or File Cache may be a better alternative to in-memory database files:

1) In-memory database files cannot be shared in a clustered or SAN/WAN environment.

2) In-memory database files are volatile and can be lost during power interruption.

3) In-memory database files can be corrupted in the event of a double-bit ECC memory error.

4) There are no application changes to implement SSD. Is this true with an in-memory database?

5) SSDs can be moved to future systems very easily. System memory frequently changes form factor and technology (SDRAM, DDR, Rambus, etc).

6) Using memory for database file storage reduces available memory for running applications and may adversely impact overall system performance.

About the author:
Craig Harries has worked within the technology industry for more than 20 years in both hardware and software applications. He has been very involved with File Cache application acceleration products for eight years and is currently vice president of product marketing at Imperial Technology, Inc. ( or (800) 451-0666).

Additional resources:

Looking for information on using solid-state disk (SSD) in a SAN fabric? Check out this Ask the Experts advice.

Wondering how SSD improves NAS performance? SearchStorage tip "SSD can nudge NAS performance -- but no magic bullet" may provide some perspective.

For more information about SSD, see "IDC Bulletin: Solid state disks: The right products for boosting performance in tough times".

This was first published in March 2002

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