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Richy_Boy

Retrospect On Ssd

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Hi all, has anyone had a play with running Retrospect 7.7 Server running a SSD drive as I'm going to be looking at migrating our existing backup server to this platform and thought I'd ask here to see if there have been any show-stoppers.

 

I'm looking at installing the OS, application and holding the catalogue files all on a single SSD drive. My only concern is the amount of catalogue writes to the SSD might shorten it's life, but still I'm expecting it to last many years. I'm currently holding the catalogue files on a 7200rpm SATA disks, but it seems really slow once you have multiple proactive backups writing to it (understandably!)

 

Thoughts, opinions?

 

Cheers, Richard

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Guest cdanteek
I'm currently holding the catalogue files on a 7200rpm SATA disks, but it seems really slow once you have multiple proactive backups writing to it (understandably!)

 

How large is this SATA disk?

 

What size SSD drive/drives do you plan on buying?

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No known issues exist with the catalog on an SSD drive. The catalog file will grow and shrink over time based on how much you use it. I don't know if the performance will be all that much different from being on a normal hard disk.

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This may not be too relevant, given how different my setup is to the one you propose, but I'll share my experience anyway.

 

I installed an SSD in my home computer about 6 months ago, and have been extremely pleased with the speediness of the system as a result. My nightly Retrospect Professional backups run without any problems, and the drive scans so quickly that backing up the entire system is now quicker than just backing up selected folders used to be.

 

Based on how well it seems to handle multi-tasking and I/O-intensive tasks, I assume it would be a good candidate for writing the catalogues of concurrent backups at least where speed is concerned, but I don't know enough about the longevity aspect (or how well they work in a server environment) to be able to say for sure. In any case, I assume you'd regularly backup your catalogue files to another drive as a precaution? (I've always done this both at home and at work, even before switching to an SSD.)

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Thanks for all your comments. I don't usually backup the catalogue files as they can be rebuilt easily enough if they were to corrupt.

 

The existing SATA disk is 500GB in size and the SSD will be OCZ Vertex II 120GB (~110GB usable) - so plenty of room for the catalogue files I think. The server currently is doing another role, but I'll probably add a second SSD and mirror the data to make sure it stays online. The reliability factor shouldn't be a problem, but I guess I'll find out! From initial testing, the disk speed is mind blowing on these Vertex II disks, it'll instantly max out a gigabit link on random file transfers (reading and writing).

 

I'm shifting everything to a HP DL160 G6, Win 2008 R2, Quad core server and the data files are held on a gigabit connected ReadyNAS PRO NAS device which has 5x 7200rpm 1GB disks in RAID5. If all goes well over several months I might adopt SSD disks across all new server installations as I dpon't trust SATA disks so have been paying the heavy price on using HP SAS disks for the last few years.

 

Richard

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I tested an early version of a cheap MLC ssd and the write speed was inadequate. Recent MLC ssd's have fixed this, as well as reliability issues.

I've been using 15k rpm sas disks (one for C: and one for catalogs) for several years, and Retrospect is able to drive them at about 1/3 to 1/2

their native data rate when performing catalog operations, like snapshot delete, rebuilds etc. My initial impressions with ssd were favorable

compared to these 15k disks.

 

Make sure you choose a large enough one if you compress your catalogs- my two 136G disks are both about half full, with my largest catalog

being about 18G (compressed). when rebuilding catalogs much of that 65g free space is used before they are compressed.

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Thanks Mark, I hadn't thought about pre-compressed sizes. Having just been analysing our current server which keeps the catalogue file on a SATA disk, when two proactive backups are writing to it, I have a disk queue of 20! Clearly a bottleneck there, so I think an SSD disk taking on that role will help performance.

 

Richard

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