SSD installation: Server-based vs. network-based

Where you implement flash in your environment can impact performance, particularly if a consideration is whether it will be available for a single server or across a network. Dennis Martin, president of Demartek, discusses two ways to install solid-state drives: in the server and over the network.

Server-side flash is what it sounds like -- the SSD is installed in the server directly. This could mean a motherboard device, a caching RAID controller, PCIe cards or solid-state drives used for caching.

"It's closest to the CPU … so that's the strong point," he said. "The disadvantage is, of course, if you have any clustering or sharing to do and you want to use that SSD to share, it's a little difficult if it's inside one server."

Martin said that SSD installation can help make the technology available to multiple servers. It also allows administrators to potentially add solid state without having to take a server offline.

"You don't touch the server at all, it's in the network. Multiple servers can share this, because it's outside of one server. Also, since you put this in between the server systems and the storage, the storage systems don't have to be touched either," he said.

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