Linode SSD (beta)

Linode Staff

EDIT 2014-01-03: The beta is now closed. Thanks for all that have participated! Stay tuned!

Linode SSD (beta)

SSDs are expensive, and the good SSDs are really, really expensive. Although the cheaper SSDs exist, they wear out more quickly, potentially slowing down as they wear, and have slower overall throughput. Not a good combination for use in multi-tenant server workloads. We only want to use the good stuff.

We've developed a new Linode storage layer that includes a combination of 'good stuff' SSDs (in redundant pairs) and our proven hard drive storage system. Random IO is processed first through the SSDs (the thing that they are really good at) while sequential IO short-cuts to the hard drives - which is pretty slick. Our new storage layer gets us the best of both worlds: the speed of SSDs but with the durability, capacity, and confidence of traditional hard drives.

Our storage was pretty fast already, but this new storage layer is incredibly fast! The following benchmarks were executed on a Linode 1024, on idle hosts, using tiobench with a 2GB file size setting, and up to 8 threads. Pretty much the worst-case scenario (threaded IO).

                      Sequential       Random
Storage System      Reads  Writes   Reads  Writes 
----------------- ------- ------- ------- -------
Current            149.34  133.90    4.34    5.48
New                853.93  612.46  108.43  135.02

Results are in MB/sec. The SSDs' contribution to throughput is clearly evident, in some cases showing 2400% improvement! But, we can only do so much with synthetic benchmarks - so we need your help testing under real-world workloads.

Tell me about the beta
* It's only in Newark right now

  • We'll move one of your existing Linodes to one of these special hosts

  • There are limited slots available

  • This is experimental

  • You might lose all of your data

  • Participate at your own risk

  • You really should have backups

  • Expect the unexpected

  • This may cut you

  • Chicks dig scars

What do I do as a beta participant?

First, please do make sure you have backups of your system. There are no guarantees how stable this thing will be. Secondly, you don't need to do anything special. We want to get a good sense of how this will perform under real-world workloads. Thirdly, if you want, feel free to perform some benchmarking on your own, and share your experiences here.

Is the beta currently open?

Yes! - Click here to apply and we'll get you set up.

-Chris

46 Replies

@archon810:

Any idea if it'll cost extra or not?
It will not. And, we will have a plan for upgrading most, if not all, of the existing fleet.

-Chris

@caker:

@archon810:

Any idea if it'll cost extra or not?
It will not. And, we will have a plan for upgrading most, if not all, of the existing fleet.

-Chris
That sounds incredible.

Cool. So when MySQL runs out of memory I won't even notice ;-)

BTW I found this via https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6343125

Upvoted!

Sounds similar to "NetApp Flash Cache" is the basic idea the same?

This sounds amazing. Can't wait for it to leave beta and come to all locations.

Any idea if it'll cost extra or not?

Aand…. there goes DO's gimmick.

Just to clarify, the SSDs are acting as a cache and all writes will eventually hit the traditional drives?

Good news!

When do you plan to roll it out to production systems in London?

Have MySQL iowait issues on 40Gb linode right now, investigating in possible solution..

Yay, already getting corruption. Probably due to me running ext4 on lvm on LUKS :D

Sounds interesting, glad you guys did not jump on the SSD bandwagon too early, it's not at the top of my list because of the wear and tear issues (and cost). It sounds like you guys have figured out a best of both worlds approach combining your traditional reliable hard disks with SSD's.

@leshik:

Good news!

When do you plan to roll it out to production systems in London?

Have MySQL iowait issues on 40Gb linode right now, investigating in possible solution..
The beta only just started. I'm sure it'll be quite a while before they're ready to deploy it to actual production systems.

Time to share my experience!

Benchmark from June 3rd (before the CPU/RAM upgrade)

~~[http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/06/03/TCFWtJjMBkhYnfop" target="_blank">](http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/06 … jMBkhYnfop">http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/06/03/TCFWtJjMBkhYnfop](

Benchmark I just ran after the migration to a new host

~~[http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/09/07/k9fTFeqtLbBn3cnt" target="_blank">](http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/09 … qtLbBn3cnt">http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2013/09/07/k9fTFeqtLbBn3cnt](

Awesome news!!! ( I'm on Magento… )

Guys, any ETA on SSD upgrade/plans?

Thank you!

This is gonna be interesting once it goes out of beta. I definitely have one I/O bound process (although it still runs fast enough that I'm not worried, and it only runs for a few minutes). I'll definitely be seeing what the speed improvement is afterwards!

Are you going to dedicate a specific allocation of SSD to each linode, or will it just be shared across the whole host?

Which is basically how existing hybrid solutions that do read/write caching work…

Linode SSD seems to be going well so far, great speeds.

Eagerly awaiting the rollout, recently had issues with journaling causing high load, have had to move filesystems to ext4, I'm assuming SSD implementation would help resolve this and similar issues at least?

Hi,

any news or benchmarks about this new setup?

Thanks

Will this work normally if I'm using pvgrub on a custom-patched kernel?

@archon810:

@caker:

@archon810:

Any idea if it'll cost extra or not?
It will not. And, we will have a plan for upgrading most, if not all, of the existing fleet.

-Chris
That sounds incredible.

Yes, so far it sure is. (incredible)

I just migrated to an SSD-backed host today, and will begin testing this month (as early as this week)

(Someone on IRC answered my question about being able to run a pvgrub-loaded custom kernel. The answer was along the lines of "yes, the storage layer is handled on the dom0 host, so you can run your own kernel on the domU guest side of things and still get all the benefits of the linode SSD …" I forget, it was something along those lines though. I'm just feeling too lazy right now so I can't be bothered to look up exact quote or who said what)

Also, I'm really excited that my new host is finally one that runs the "linode NextGen" 2.6ghz E5-2670 (a non-zero number of linode customers got upgraded to 8 cores, but it was on hosts with the 2.13ghz L5630 or otherwise similarly "nice, but disappointing" hardware to what I've been on for the past 4 months)

http://youtu.be/-KSryJXDpZo <–- this is relevant, description: (quote) "This was clipped out of recent TED talk given by Frans de Waal regarding moral behavior in animals. In a nut shell we get to observe reaction and response of two Capuchin monkey when they receive different reward for same type of work."

~~[http://www.ted.com/talks/fransdewaaldoanimalshavemorals.html" target="blank">](http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_ … orals.html">http://www.ted.com/talks/fransdewaaldoanimalshave_morals.html]( <– The original "TED Talk" it was clipped from.

While I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the SSD beta, sticking customers who all pay the same price on different hardware kinda "feels unfair"

Just some food for thought / sharing my $0.02 on the subject.

I'd love some to see some feedback here from the people testing. How stable is it so far? Did you come across issues?

If Linode staff can comment, how's the beta progressing? Any plans for new locations? (London London! :D)

It's been quite stable, and I haven't had any data loss or other disk-related weirdness.

I no longer have the problems with disk IO as my main bottleneck, now everything is pretty much CPU-bound like it should be :)

Just putting in my $0.02. I've migrated one of my non-critical services from a Ramnode KVM SSD-Cached box to a Linode SSD Beta and so far the Linode is out performing the Ramnode (same size nodes both 1G). It's only been a few hours but the server load has dropped by about 60%, IO wait is negligible, so far I'm happy.

One thing to note is that the box is shown as having a E5-2680 V2 CPU which is the first time I've seen that model on a Linode, the best I've seen before is the E5-2670 V2 (which is also good). It's good to see Linode are keeping their hardware fresh.

How's the beta for this going? Any updates?

Hi,

Will we see the beta in UK in a near future too?

Best regards!

Hey guys - we're hard at work on the SSD effort, and it's quite exciting. We hope to have a bunch of announcements related to this beta (and more) sometime in Q1 of 2014. Stay tuned!

-Chris

@caker:

Hey guys - we're hard at work on the SSD effort, and it's quite exciting. We hope to have a bunch of announcements related to this beta (and more) sometime in Q1 of 2014. Stay tuned!

-Chris

Thank's for your feedback, Chris.

The beta is now closed. Thanks for all that have participated! Stay tuned!

-Chris

Now I'm excited, the beta was flawless for me :D

I'm ready for some reboots :D … still waiting for this!

Did anyone here beta the hybrid-SSD with a dedicated mySQL instance where the DB size > RAM. Did you see performance gains?

I don't trust SSD which is just flash storage. Flash wears out, disks can last for decades.

@jebblue:

I don't trust SSD which is just flash storage. Flash wears out, disks can last for decades.

That's only true for the low end consumer SSD's.

Current enterprise SSDs are at least as reliable as magnetic disks, they can take many years of constant full-speed IO.

I think that vendors have largely moved away from SLC, but it's high enough to have an effectively infinite lifespan; write 100GB a day to a 500GB SLC SSD and it'd last nearly 1,400 years. Consumer drives, for their part, with their 3,000 cycles, would only last 41 years.

If Linode were to start using SSD's it would be the cherry on top for their services, even with their NextGen upgrade the bottleneck has always been the HDD. I'm still yet to move over to them for my more demanding sites because of this. We'll see what happens. I hope ugrades happen soon as I've only got good things to say about Linode.

Fingers crossed…

Is there any information on when this will be launched? I'm about to deploy several servers and I don't want to deploy to a standard Linode only to find out later that I should have waited for the hybrid SSD hosts.

Of course if it is possible to migrate an existing Linode to the hybrid SSD hosts then this will be less of an issue. Will it be possible to migrate existing hosts?

@Cromulent:

Is there any information on when this will be launched? I'm about to deploy several servers and I don't want to deploy to a standard Linode only to find out later that I should have waited for the hybrid SSD hosts.

Of course if it is possible to migrate an existing Linode to the hybrid SSD hosts then this will be less of an issue. Will it be possible to migrate existing hosts?

In the past it has always been possible to migrate. So I'm certain it will be possible this time as well.

I'm also very interested in this, hopefully we'll get some more info soon :D

@Cromulent:

Is there any information on when this will be launched? I'm about to deploy several servers and I don't want to deploy to a standard Linode only to find out later that I should have waited for the hybrid SSD hosts.

Of course if it is possible to migrate an existing Linode to the hybrid SSD hosts then this will be less of an issue. Will it be possible to migrate existing hosts?

@caker:

Hey guys - we're hard at work on the SSD effort, and it's quite exciting. We hope to have a bunch of announcements related to this beta (and more) sometime in Q1 of 2014. Stay tuned!

-Chris

@caker:

@archon810:

Any idea if it'll cost extra or not?
It will not. And, we will have a plan for upgrading most, if not all, of the existing fleet.

-Chris

These quotes should about answer your questions.

@caker:

Hey guys - we're hard at work on the SSD effort, and it's quite exciting. We hope to have a bunch of announcements related to this beta (and more) sometime in Q1 of 2014. Stay tuned!

-Chris

EDIT: So today is Q2 2014. fingers crossed :mrgreen:

@XReaper:

A little birdie told me something big was happening at linode mid-April

I want your birdies to be right :D

Q1 has passed, will it be just postponed a little bit?

A little birdie told me something big was happening at linode mid-April

If my current host was the one I got moved to during the beta and the SSD thing rolls out to everyone, will I need another migration or is the basic configuration going to stay the same for me and I won't need any further migrations or… something else?

I really feel like this whole thread has become a TL;DR (for my own tastes / reading habits) so if you don't feel like answering that's fine I guess.

Oh great, now I'm REALLY curious about the answer to my previous question:

~~[https://blog.linode.com/2014/04/17/linode-cloud-ssds-double-ram-much-more/" target="_blank">](https://blog.linode.com/2014/04/17/lino … much-more/">https://blog.linode.com/2014/04/17/linode-cloud-ssds-double-ram-much-more/](

^ As far as I can tell, if I get kicked off the SSD beta linode host in the future, there's a good chance I'll be downgraded from 8 CPU cores to just 2.

I'm not happy about this.

@kuzetsa:

If my current host was the one I got moved to during the beta and the SSD thing rolls out to everyone, will I need another migration or is the basic configuration going to stay the same for me and I won't need any further migrations or… something else?

I really feel like this whole thread has become a TL;DR (for my own tastes / reading habits) so if you don't feel like answering that's fine I guess.
kuzetsa,

If you have a specific question regarding one or more of your Linodes, you should open a support ticket. You can't rely on a timely response - or any response - from anyone on the Linode team in the forums.

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