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David Douglass .NET on My Mind

One of the things I’ve noticed is that two industry trends are not playing nice together, those trends being multi-core CPUs and massive hard drives.  It’s not a problem if you keep your cores busy with compute intensive work, but for software developers the beauty of multi-core CPUs (along with gobs of RAM and a 64 bit OS) is virtualization.  But when you have only one hard drive (who needs another when it holds 2 TB of data?) you wind up with a serious hard drive bottleneck.  A solid state drive would definitely help, and might even be a complete solution, but the cost is ridiculous.  Two TB of solid state storage will set you back around $7,000!  A spinning 2 TB drive is only $150.

I see a couple of solutions for this.  One is the mainframe concept of near and far storage: put the stuff that will be heavily access on a solid state drive and the rest on a spinning drive.  Another solution is multiple spinning drives.  Instead of a single 2 TB drive, get four 500 GB drives.  In total, the four 500 GB drives will cost about $100 more than the single 2 TB drive.  You’ll need to be smart about what drive you place things on so that the load is spread evenly.  Another option, for better performance, would be four 10,000 RPM 300 GB drives, but that would cost about $800 more than the singe 2 TB drive and would deliver only 1.2 TB of space.

All pricing based on Microcenter as of March 14, 2010.

Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:10 PM | Back to top

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