New flash drive disks for Oracle
Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
September 26, 2007

As disk and RAM prices continue to fall at an astonishing rate, many Oracle shops are removing their I/O bottlenecks with RAM disk, solid-state flash memory which can read and write data hundreds of times faster then the old-fashioned spinning platters from the 1960's.

As of 2007, SSD RAM disk costs less than a platter disk from the 1990's, and Oracle shops across the globe are switching to solid-state storage for their mission critical data.  At a cost of only $150 per gigabyte, a new generation of SSD flash disks are affordable for almost any Oracle shop.

It's important not to confuse the PC-based flash technology (like PC flash drives) with the industrial-strength SSD that is used for Oracle databases.  The SSD used for Oracle is extremely fast and getting cheaper every year and it's only a matter of time before all Oracle databases will reside on solid state disks. 

It's important for all Oracle professionals to learn about solid-state disk to understand how I/O bottlenecks will soon become a thing of the past.  Let's take a close look at this emerging technology.

Inside the next generation of data storage hardware

The ancient platter-based disks from the 1960's will soon join paper tape and punched cards in the annals of IT history.  As prices of RAM and flash disks fall to affordable levels, the majority of Oracle database will run entirely solid-state, with the only physical I/O being external background writes from the solid-state disk (SSD) to it's backup storage disks.  Oracle with SSD offers blistering data access speeds and it can save shops from expensive manual tuning efforts.

As of September 2007, you can buy 100 gigabytes units of SSD for less then $90k, making RAM-based SSD an extremely affordable option for smaller database that are plagued with disk I/O bottlenecks.  For larger Oracle databases, the new RAMRAM-500 offers up to two terabytes of fast cached Flash solid state disk for only $150 per gigabyte (cached flash systems use a combination of DDR RAM as cache and Flash memory as persistent high densisty storage.

When choosing an SSD hardware vendor, many risk-averse IT managers choose the industry leader.  The undisputed leader in the realm of super-fast RAM disks is Texas Memory Systems (TMS), one of the largest providers of SSD for Oracle.  I've worked with many shops who use TMS SSD for their Oracle systems and their response has been uniformly positive.  But it just keeps getting better, a revolutionary new technology that will forever change the landscape of corporate database management.  Let's take a closer look.

Read more about flash drive disks here:



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