You likely know that solid state disks (SSDs) can dramatically improve performance, especially for data-intensive on-premises applications.
Have you thought about how SSDs can benefit cloud applications, too? Maybe not. Because cloud environments abstract away the physical infrastructure, it can be easy for users to forget why SSD storage is useful in the cloud, too.
This article explains the benefits of SSD storage in the cloud and outlines how to get started using SSD in one major public cloud—Alibaba Cloud.
Using SSD in the Cloud
SSDs are a technology that is fantastic—and expensive, giving companies justification to postpone adoption (along with waiting for proven stability and a tangible need to migrate).
With the advent of the cloud, however, we can test at a lower cost as soon as technology is made available by cloud computing providers. This allows infrastructure analysts to test and deploy a new solution as soon as it is released.
Evaluation Criteria When Choosing an SSD
SSD storage became affordable for large-scale applications about a decade ago, and comparisons between SSDs and traditional hard disks continue. The comparisons usually focus on factors such as price, speed, weight, and power consumption. The price of an SSD is much higher and its storage capacity is initially lower. However, when analyzing data reading speed, the SSD gains an edge.
Following is a detailed explanation of how each factor plays out:
- Price: Price is always a relative issue. You need to measure the cost benefit of using SSDs for certain applications and in certain environments.
- Speed: This must be taken into account in the entire lifecycle of an application. Consider design, use in the marketplace, whether your production environment will support the amount of read and write requests, and if the delay in reading data is acceptable.
- Weight: The weight of the disk needs to make sense with the physical architecture, and weight is important if it has to be transported. But with SSD in the cloud, weight is irrelevant.
- Energy: This applies to the previous item. The cost is already embedded in the price of the use of storage.
Obviously, there are other items of comparison between the two devices, but these are the most common.
Comparisons and Uses
Alibaba Cloud offers services with SSD environments, and they are considerably cheaper than some offered by the market. The services offered by Alibaba Cloud serve multi-platform, with a monthly charge according to the amount of data that will be made available and accessed, just as with processing capacity. In addition, there is support for the most-used operating systems on the market.
Below is a table comparing discs to help you make a decision according to your requirements:
* Prices shown are for the US West region. For more information, see ECS Price for details.
With each, the price difference is considerable; however, the cost-benefit must be taken into consideration. As shown in the table, the recommended scenarios are different, such as high-use I/O, relational database for SSD disk, and applications with low-frequency usage and low I/O.
Even if it is not attractive for a team to have a test environment using an SSD, it’s worth considering SSD use in production. I recommend performing stress testing on the environment and applications to see if the real benefits of SSDs are noticeable for your scenario. For organizations with an application with high-demand data queries, the use of SSDs in the database is almost mandatory.
Currently, you can test the Alibaba Cloud by taking advantage of $300 in free credits to get to know the platform better.