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SATA or SCSI drives? 7200 RPM, 10K, or 15K - Coldfusion Server Administration

I'm in the process of ordering a server to run ColdFusion and MySQL with Linux. I was planning on using SATA 7200 RPM drives but one option is to go with SCSI and get either 10,000 RPM or 15,000 RPM drives. Of course the price goes up quite a bit with the faster drives so I was wondering if there would be a noticable performance boost by going with the 10K or 15K drives? Or, are there people using SATA drives with sizeable ColdFusion sites that find that the performance is fine? Would I be better off getting more memory ...

  1. #1

    Default SATA or SCSI drives? 7200 RPM, 10K, or 15K

    I'm in the process of ordering a server to run ColdFusion and MySQL with Linux.
    I was planning on using SATA 7200 RPM drives but one option is to go with SCSI
    and get either 10,000 RPM or 15,000 RPM drives. Of course the price goes up
    quite a bit with the faster drives so I was wondering if there would be a
    noticable performance boost by going with the 10K or 15K drives?

    Or, are there people using SATA drives with sizeable ColdFusion sites that
    find that the performance is fine? Would I be better off getting more memory
    (I have it configured with 4 GB of RAM right now) or faster CPU's? I'll be
    getting a Dual CPU machine with Dual-core processors for a total of four cores.
    I was planning on getting the 2.0 GHz Opterons but perhaps faster CPU's would
    be better than faster disks?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Steve Cousins Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: SATA or SCSI drives? 7200 RPM, 10K, or 15K

    Any current generation of SCSI is going to be faster than SATA. SAS or serial
    attached SCSI is going to be even faster. For production environments, SCSI
    will provide better performance.

    While this next bit doesn't quite equate to what you're doing, it will provide
    some prospective.

    I used LoadRunner to test one of our applications on a high end server running
    off of SCSI. LoadRunner would log in, perform a task and log out. On SCSI,
    that task took an average of around 12 seconds. I then switched the CFML code
    base over to a SAN connected disk. The same LoadRunner test completed in an
    average of around 3 seconds.

    Buy as much server as you can with your dollar. CF in a stand alone install
    can only use a max of around 1.5GB of memory (current JVM limitations and
    32bit-ed-ness and all). If you go multi-server and cluster instances together,
    you'll get extra performance from that.

    Working on the server day-to-day, you'll likely not notice that extra 5k of
    RPM. But as load ramps up and you start looking at your metrics, that extra 5k
    of RPM will eventually become apparent.

    ke4pym Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: SATA or SCSI drives? 7200 RPM, 10K, or 15K

    Thanks for the information. I'm not sure about what you say about "Any current
    SCSI drive being faster than SATA" (what if both drives are 7200 RPM?). In
    any case, it is interesting to see the performance difference you showed with
    SCSI vs. SAN. That is quite a difference. I'm guessing the difference is
    single disk vs. RAID to get that kind of performance boost.

    You bring up an interesting point about memory and 32-bit-ed-ness. Any idea
    why ColdFusion hasn't gone 64-bit? Any idea when it will? I'd think the
    ability to have lots of memory for caching purposes would be a big performance
    boost.

    Thanks again for the reply.

    Steve Cousins Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: SATA or SCSI drives? 7200 RPM, 10K, or 15K

    My initial test was done on a system with RAID 5 and the RAID controller had
    320MB of on-board RAM for cache.

    By any current SCSI disc, I meant recent discs and technologies. Namely, SCSI
    Ultra320. I can't say as I've ever seen a 7200 RPM SCSI disk. I know SATA has
    caught up with some of the internal things that make SCSI faster, but it still
    isn't quite there yet.

    I don't know why CF hasn't gone 64 bit yet. I'm sure it eventually will.

    ke4pym Guest

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