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9/17/2009
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Samsung SSDs Offered On All HP ProLiant G6 Servers

Solid-state drives are more expensive than hard-disk drives, but costs are lower over time, and they're faster, more reliable, smaller, and use less power, HP says.

Hewlett-Packard is offering Samsung Electronics solid-state drives as an option across HP ProLiant G6 rack, tower and blade servers.

Samsung's 60 GB and 120 GB SSDs will also be available with select ProLiant G5 servers, the companies said Thursday. The advantages of the SSDs over hard-disk drives include lower power usage, higher performance, and better reliability. However, SSDs are considerably more expensive.

Nevertheless, HP argues that SSDs will lower costs over time. "Samsung's latest SSD technology coupled with HP ProLiant servers delivers energy-efficient server platforms to enable customers to slash their power usage and reduce costs," Jim Ganthier, VP of marketing for HP x86 servers, said in a statement.

Samsung claims that 3 Gb-per-second SATA SSDs can be up to 40 to 50 times faster than 10,000 or 15,000 revolutions per minute HDDs, depending upon the application and computing workload. In addition, SSDs can free up physical space that can be allocated to additional system memory, which improves performance further.

In terms of power consumption, Samsung SSDs consume 1.9 watts when writing to the drive and 1.5 watts when reading to it, which is about a fifth of the power of a conventional enterprise hard drive, according to the vendor. Power usage for the SSDs in idle mode is 0.1 of a watt.

For performance, Samsung SSDs execute random read commands at 25,000 input/outputs per second and random writes at 6,000 IOPS. It has a sequential read speed of 230 MB per second and a sequential write speed of 180 MB per second.

The Proliant G6 is HP's latest line of x86 servers. They are designed for virtualized application environments that require significant memory, data storage and network connections to reap the greatest server performance. HP has launched a Web site with more details on the SSD offering.

HP is not the only computer maker offering SSDs with servers. Rival IBM in May added the option to servers using IBM's Power6 processors.

Experts say that SSDs make the most sense for use with high-performance applications, such as video-on-demand, virtualization, Web serving and online transaction processing.

That's because SSDs cost much more that HDDs and have far less storage capacity. For example, a server-based HDD costs $1 to $2 per gigabyte, while SSD costs from $15 to $90 per gigabyte, according to IDC.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on the state of enterprise storage. Download the report here (registration required).

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