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SSD: An Anecdotal Journey

Anecdotally SSD is an incredible improvement of the old bog hard drives.

After I upgraded to Ogra, I noticed that my server’s load stats were a little janky. They were pretty high, actually, bouncing between .5 and 2 all the time. Now this isn’t really all that bad, but as I looked at my server, I realized I was paying a little more than I needed, since I’d cut down on space by offloading backups better.

This matters because I needed only 50G of diskspace (I only use about 30 right now for all the sites), and while I did want 2G of RAM, I could easily switch to an SSD on my hosting plan. It was cheaper, and it was as easy as pressing a button. I’ve never really gotten to play with SSD for this site, so I thought “what the hell” and pressed the button.

A weekend later…

5 minute load average for a week

The five minute load average shows a massive drop. It’s incredible. The red and blank spots are where I was running the actual migration process and disabled monitoring for a bit. Literally all I did was reboot the server and the move it to SSD. That’s it. It’s insane when you think about it.

By the way, I saved disk space by offloading the backups to Amazon S3. Amazon costs me about $3 a month, and while I detest their interface, the integration is built into WHM. I have an open feature requests to allow arbitrary CEPH destinations as backup so please vote for that if you like the idea.

SSDs had the bonus of changing my backup from taking 2 or 3 hours to taking 15 minutes.

Anecdotally SSD is an incredible improvement of the old bog hard drives.

5 replies on “SSD: An Anecdotal Journey”

I appreciate you writing about this so much. I have been sitting on the fence with making this decision myself, in part hobbled by my lack of understanding about the impact it will have on a site now hosted on DreamPress.

I have a project requiring co-operation between 5 women who will be co-blogging using WordPress, supporting a shared community of members, but require their own branded look and feel. I realize I need to look at multi-sites and domain mapping. That means migrating to either VPS or a dedicated server. I’ve spent the last few weeks reading about both, and am more than a little daunted. Of course everyone has their own horror stories, but the thing that worries me most is my inexperience.

It was helpful to read about your performance boost, and also about the migration in this post and in the one you linked to. Your insight is really helpful before I take a leap!

Many thanks,
Sue.

@Sue Braiden: Hi Sue, that’s a good question. With DreamPress you have multiple layers of caching that sit in front of SSD — Varnish and Memcached. Because of that, any issues with SSD are mitigated as your website is mostly be served at the RAM level, not at the SSD level. This is what gives your website its performance. SSD is mostly a marketing buzzword at this point, what really matter is caching.

With multisite and domain mapping, a vps is still the best bet. SSD is better than disc based for a lot of things, multisite included, but Mark is right that the caching will make it or break it. This server actually has none right now, since it’s waiting on an upgrade to test out some new opcache and memcached settings that require a new install of PHP. I’m experimenting 🙂 I don’t recommend most people do this with a live site!

What a concept of thinking ❗ It seems, you’ve pressed on the exact button 😆 Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative article but an question, SSD hosting would be good for people who are new in this business filed?

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