What is a Performance Model for SSDs?

I want to understand SSD performance so I can design fast data structures, such as fractal trees. This talk will present some performance measurements of an Intel X25E which were motivated by the following observations:

  • MySQL+InnoDB running iiBench does poorly. With rotating disk it’s slow, and SSD doesn’t help much.
  • MySQL+TokuDB running iiBench does well. With rotating disk it’s fast, and SSD doesn’t help much.

I tried to measure what the right block size is for operating an SSD. A good block size is one that hits the “half power point”. That is, half the performance is accounted for by “seek time”, and half by “bandwidth”. This experiment postulates a simple model for SSD and rotating disks where for random reads of a block, there is a startup time S and a bandwidth B. The half-power points look like this:

SSD / Rotating Disk
reads: 50KB / 0.5MB-1MB
writes: 10KB / 0.5MB-1MB
read/write: mix 21KB / 0.5MB-1MB

I found SSD performance to be a little bit strange and unpredictable.

Bradley C. Kuszmaul

Tokutek

Dr. Kuszmaul’s research focuses on developing computer systems and hardware that behave well both in practice and in theory. His entry won 5 out of 6 categories in Jim Gray’s 2007 sorting benchmark contest, sorting a terabyte in 197 seconds. He formerly architected Akamai’s distributed data collection system, was a Yale Professor of Computer Science and was a principal network architect for the Thinking Machines Connection Machine CM-5 Supercomputer. He was one of the developers of the MIT Cilk multithreaded programming system and wrote, in Cilk++, winning entries for 4 out of 12 of problems in the 2009 Intel Threading Challenge. Dr. Kuszmaul a founder and Chief Architect at Tokutek and is a Research Scientist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL).

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