Monday, August 13, 2012

The Benchmark of SSD and HDD, 5 things you should have already known about SSD

Well, a SSD, which stands for Solid State Drive, it's used for data storage, just like a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). We have compile a few section that can help our readers to know more about SSD, and we also have done some testing to the performance of SSD and HDD, check them out at the last section.

First of all, how do they look like?



In the stores you probably would see them packaged nicely and sold just like these.




On the insides:

This is how a Solid State Drive look like without a chassis.



This is a Hard Disk Drive, without it's cover.



Few things you should know already about SSD


In various ways, the SSD differs alot from HDD, because of their architecture, they were used for different purpose in the past. However as the price of SSD is reducing, it is reasonable for the market to purchase it now.

1. The controller and flash chip
As you can see, the SSD's architecture component made of a controller and flash chips. The flash chip has been developed as a non-volatile memory since 2009, therefore it doesn't need electricity to retain the data stored in it. During the event of power outage, there is no data loss. Since there is no moving parts in SSD, the performance of SSD is measured by its Input/Output Operations Per Seceond (IOPS).

2. It can withstand shock
In the past it was used by the military and aerospace industries due to SSD's characteristic that is able to withstand shock, vibration and temperature ranges. Why didn't they use the HDD? Look inside them, there's a rotating disk, and there's a writing mechanism in it, especially the writing head, if someone bangs the wall of the computer casing, the writing mechanism will be affected, and there will be data lost/error due to that.

3. Able to withstand heat
As for temperature range, some of the servers that has hard disk drive in it needs ventilation or at least some cooling, as Seagate mentioned that the surrounding temperature above 35 degrees Celsius will affect the life of the hard disk and it's reliability will be weakened if the drive temperate is above 55 degrees Celsius. SSD generally can withstand higher temperature and they don't require and cooling or ventilation. Except for those higher end enterprise models in the server farm where the add-on will be supplied with a heat sink.

4. Won't be affected by magnetic field
Hard disk drive read and write mechanism can be affected magnetic field. Magnets or magnetic surges could damage data, although the magnetic platters are usually well-shielded inside the metal case. Since SSD doesn't have have any parts that requires magnetism, so it won't be affected by magnetic field.

5. The reliability and its lifespan
The SSD doesn't have any moving parts in it, therefore it won't fail mechanically. The flash disk can be only erased and written a limited number of time before it fails. The controller is used to manage this limitation, thus prolong its life span. However SSDs based on DRAM do not have a limited number of writes.


How they store data and how it will affects SSD life span?


Flash Memory
SSD is actually similar to their relatives, the USB drive, it store most of the data in the flash memory. RAM on the other hand stores data too, but when there's no electricity, or when the system reboots, the data in the RAM will be lost. 

There's 2 type of NAND ( Negated And or Not And) Flash: Single Layer Cell (SLC) and Multi Layer Cell (MLC). SLC is where a unit is able to store 1 bit, which can be represented as 1 and 0, and the life span of SLC is longer, which is around 100,000 time. Whereas MLC can store 2 bit, which can be represented as 00, 01, 10, 11, therefore the storage is much denser than SLC. Although the cost of MLC is lower but its life span is shorter, which is around 10,000 times of storing and extract. 

Besides, the reading speed of SLC is faster than MLC, even though SLC's performance is better than MLC, but it's cost is higher, and twice the price of MLC. However the current production of MLC is getting more advanced, most of it will soon have the same read write speed similar to the SLC. At the moment the market's mainstream products are based on MLC, therefore the price of SSD is getting cheaper. 

Controller
The controller is like the brain of SSD, it has 3 main function, error correction, bad block mapping and garbage collection.

Our Michaelsoft DDS servers is able to support the usage of SSD, to ensure the peak performance of the servers and prolong the life span of SSD. Our Michaelsoft DDS is able to support TRIM command, which helps the SSD to recycle the discarded data.

The way SSD stores data is different, the term garbage collection illustrate how the data is written, delete, and rewrite.


TRIM enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead, which would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations to the involved blocks, in advance. 

What happens if the server OS that uses SSD doesn't use TRIM? To erase the data and rewrite, some of the SSD will experience wear and tear (write amplification), remember that the flash drive's life span? The MLC can only store 2 bits for only 10,000 times! 

SSD that experience write amplification will have reduced life span.

Therefore Michaelsoft DDS server OS has TRIM command that can ensure the performance of SSD due to garbage collection.


Experiment Section:

We have our own in house technicians to do the testing of the SSD and HDD, and the following are the result of

1. 7200 rpm Hard Disk VS SSD:



2. In house benchmarking using ATTO Disk Benchmark


michaelsoft-in-house-testing-ssd-hdd-atto-benchmark


"As you can see, for traditional hard disk, the performance for hard disk in Gb/s and Gb/s controller doesn't  have any significant differences. The bottleneck is on the hard drive mechenical parts that cannot keep up with Gb/s controller bandwidth. Only SSD can overcome the bottleneck that traditional hard drive has. But the cache capacity in caviar black and RE4 has advantage over mid range hard drive, as having multiple request for same data from hard drive will slightly improve data transfer speed latency as well as pro long hard drive life span." - Michaelsoft's Technician.



In conclusion, SSD's speed is faster than HDD, it can perform better, but with a higher cost. However, for Michaelsoft DDS, using SSD for the server is better as it will boot applications faster than using HDD. Contact US Michaelsoft DDS to check for whether if your server is suitable to use SSD for our Michaelsoft DDS diskless solution.





  • Check our previous blog entry where our client's 300 PCs cybercafe using our Michaelsoft DDS, where they use Kingston's Hyper X SSD.
  • This is our current month promotion, where you can get FREE Auto Game Update and Battle LAN. Terms and conditions applied.








Thursday, August 2, 2012

Have you apply this 1 weird trick to simplify your game update and patches work?

That one weird trick is considered as the best solution to many cybercafe owners or staffs in terms of updating game patches and game clients. Yes, it's Michaelsoft DDS AUTO GAME UPDATE.
Owners or staffs don't have to spend so much time cracking their heads to do updates for patches or even look for new popular online games.


Nowadays online games has gained a lot of popularity, if your cybercafe has a lot of customer that play their favorite online game there, and there's more than 1000 different type of online games in the market. Cybercafe staff has to update them one by one in a day. If they don't update in time, customers will go play in another cybercafe. Thus losing business income. 

Some of these games, if they are not updated, customer have to wait to update them, they will feel frustrated because of their money wasted to wait for game updates. To customers, 15 minutes can up few levels, experience  points, earn few more gold, kill more monsters, play longer for the game. In the end, they will leave the cybercafe and look for another place to play.

By the way, if the cybercafe staff is not that diligent to update the games, if they leave it for too long without updating they have to download the whole game client again to do the patches. Time is WASTED AGAIN to download everything.

What happens if the staff went off due to sick leave? Vacation? Cousin's wedding? Friend's wedding? Who's going to do the updates?

GUESS WHERE WILL CUSTOMER GO: cybercafe that has the most updated games or the one that doesn't update games?

If you find that most of the customer like to play online games like the one showed below, and competitor's cybercafe doesn't have it, but you have you it, they will stay if you constantly update your games.


 




To keep the customer happy 
come back to your cybercafe, 

is to keep updating their games frequently.


If you find it hard to maintain them, 

then it's time to switch to 

Michaelsoft DDS Auto Game Update!!

Why use Michaelsoft Auto Game Update?


1. Efficient


Michaelsoft DDS Auto Game Update: TURBO will update the games in the centralized server, and it's hosted in one of the BEST data center in Malaysia. If there's new game released, it will be updated at the central server. Then the rest of the cybercafe that is connected to the server will be updated as well. Don't need to waste so much human resource or labor cost to look for the updates, and install them one by one daily.

2. Effective


During new game clients and patches updates will not occur any system errors, such as Windows file corrupt or registry error. Don't need to waste time fixing errors, and waste further more human resource or labor cost due to their own human error. Besides it takes a very experienced staff to fix these errors, and its hard to find one that is hard working and experienced. Therefore, subscribe to Michaelsoft Auto Game Update: Turbo and let the machines do their work.



Michaelsoft DDS's Auto Game Update helps you save a lot of time and work. 

Here's how it looks like:



You can choose what to update, it will tell you what are the update available so you don't have to find for it.



Over the years, this Auto Game Update has helped many cybercafe owners simplify their job, they don't need to spend so much time to look for game updates, and apply them by installing and configure the file path etc.

Our Michaelsoft DDS Auto Game Update will do the rest of the job in terms on looking for game updates, new client versions, anything that needs to be renew, this Auto Game Update will help you to do it.

Besides, those online games are getting more and more in the market, and they are really cool to play with, if your customer wants to try them or play them, at least you have Michaelsoft DDS Auto Game Update and Game Menu to help you to deploy these new games and update it's patches.



Auto Game Update features:
  • High Speed BT Downloading, Outstanding Performance, Stable and Reliable
  • Support Multiple Servers Sync
  • Fully Automatic Updates, Need No Staff to handle, Reduce Workload, Save Time, Save Money
  • Updating Schedule on your choice, no worries about affecting other clients
  • No need to worry about download speed limit set by ISP and other powerful features
  • No Windows file corrupt / registry error during update
  • Auto Deploy New Games with integration DDS Game Menu

Michaelsoft DDS Game Menu v4.0


Also, Michaelsoft DDS Game Menu v4.0 is a GREAT platform to deploy games, new games will immediately, automatically appear in the Game Menu, and doesn't require us from Michaelsoft to create game shortcuts via remote.




If you have any inquiries, please do email us at enquiry@michaelsoft.com.my or chat with us using MSN support chat, or call us at +603-79816878

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

DDS setup for one of the LARGEST cybercafe in Malaysia!

The author recently join the technical team and help them to setup Michaelsoft DDS in a once famous cyber cafe. This cybercafe used to run hard disk and it has 300 PCs in it, as time goes by they find it hard to manage to the cyber cafe, and finally came to us to help them change the system. 

This cyber cafe has 3 different client spec, they had Intel Xeon, Intel Core 2 Duo, and Intel I5. The server was using an extra ordinary SSD, it's Kingston's Hyper X.

michaelsoft server using hyper x

michaelsoft server using hyper x

michaelsoft server using hyper x

michaelsoft server using hyper x


michaelsoft server using hyper x


It looks pretty awesome just to have them to boot 300 PCs.

largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft

largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft

largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft

This cybercafe has subscribe for Michaelsoft Auto Game Update, this helps the owner do reduce their burden in updating games, and players DON'T NEED to wait to update games anymore.

No more time wasted to update the games. No wasted time means no money wasted, and everyone is happy about it.Don't worry about the Dota maps not being updated to the latest version, just have to sit down play your game, with the latest updates.

largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft

 This cybercafe's arrangement made it good for 5v5 matches, there's a section for that, so players can play their LoL, HoN, Dota games with their buddies.


largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft

largest cybercafe in malaysia powered by michaelsoft



10 PCs on each row, 5 on each side, made just for looking at the opponent's losing face, else where is the encouragement to win the game right? But it is good for communication with team mate without spending time to type to signal their team mates.

michaelsoft diskless cybercafe

michaelsoft diskless cybercafe

michaelsoft diskless cybercafe

michaelsoft diskless cybercafe



QNO router in michaelsoft powered cybercafe


Michaelsoft DDS also recommends QNO router as it's used to manage their bandwidth so there won't be any lag during gaming if others were to download files. 

No more excuses saying "here got people download stuff le!!"

The award winning QNO router is able to precisely block applications, according to name, url, IP address, and ports. Besides they have a database of blacklist, that user can use to choose and block or limit them, so  that other people's bandwidth is stable. 




 300 PCs , just imagine the amount of Ethernet cables used, look like a lock of hair bind together.





This video below here show the batch boot time for this 300 PCs cybercafe is 5 minutes, and the individual boot time by the 3 client PC spec is around 30 seconds.


Leave us a comment if you have any inquiries, or chat with us on the msn, or you can email us at enquiry@michaelsoft.com.my

We are also on Facebook too.