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SSD caching leverages the best attributes of two generations of storage technology, rotating magnetic storage and solid-state SSD storage, in a single computer.

While rotating magnetic storage holds the advantage of the lowest cost per gigabyte, solid-state SSD storage has very low latency times, but that efficiency comes with a higher price-point. Solid-state SSD storage can also have very high bandwidth transfer rates, especially when paired with NVM Express technologies that avoid bottlenecks between SATA and SAS interfaces.

Intel® Smart Response Technology is a feature of Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) that enables either a dual drive—lower-cost, small-capacity SSD used in conjunction with a low-cost, high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD)—or a solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) to provide a high-performance, cost-effective storage solution.

Recent versions of Linux including RHEL 7.1 and CentOS 7.1 incorporate a technology called LVM-Caching. LVM-Caching does all the work of putting the hot data in the SSD while the less frequently used data is stored on the larger rotating media drive and both of the drives appear as one to the OS and applications.

Nor-Tech has done extensive benchmarking on a CentOS 7.1 system, testing the benefit of LVM-Caching versus no caching and how it impacted random read capability of 4K byte blocks of data for a file that was 10 GB in size. In some cases, results showed 300% gain in performance when LVM-Caching was used.


Hardware and Software Environment
All testing was performed on the following hardware.

  • Intel Xeon E5-2699 2.30 Ghz, 128 Gb Ram
  • SuperMicro X10DAI
  • Nvidia Quadro K4200
  • Mechanical Drive Seagate ST4000NM0033
  • SSD Intel SSDSC2BB480G4, DC S3500
    • FIO Version 2.1.10
    • FIO Command File for Random Read Benchmark
    [random-read] rw=randread

The system was setup using CentOS 7.1 utilizing the new LVM cache technology to allow seamless tiered storage.

LVM Cache FIO Results




IOPS and Runtime

See: Voyageur 7000 Workstation leverages the power of SSD Caching

Learn more about how Nor-Tech can help you leverage the power of SSD Caching. Call 952.808.1000 (toll free: 877.808.1010) or fill out the form below and a Nor-Tech Representative will contact you shortly.

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