How Reliable are Solid State Drives (SSD)? Alpha Anywhere Developers Share Their Experiences

Attracted by blazing fast performance, some Alpha Anywhere developers who are designing mobile and web apps have been running their applications on servers equipped by Solid State Drives (SSD).

Our customers are designing mobile apps for businesses with Alpha Anywhere that, when deployed, demand performance. We wanted to find out if Solid State Drive really offered not only great performance but even more importantly...reliability! To do this, we spoke to a number of Alpha Anywhere developers who are running their apps on servers with SSD drives at ZebraHost ( and whose apps have relative high volumes of users and transactions.

Chad Brown manages the IT function for a large chain of mobile phone stores in Canada. His Alpha application runs on dedicated servers provisioned by ZebraHost in the Washington, D.C. datacenter. The servers feature a RAID 10 array of 4 x 200GB SSDs.

When the servers were first installed in early 2013, Chad was amazed at the improved performance of his application. At the time he emailed Clive at ZebraHost with the first quote and then a year later he emailed Clive the second quote.
“I have to say this is exactly what I was hoping for. Most pages react instantly.”

"I would highly recommend SSD to anyone who is looking for high performance data access.”
Alpha Anywhere developer Steve Workings was equally enthusiastic after ZebraHost installed  SSD servers for one of his clients in the Singapore datacenter. At the time he posted on the Alpha forum and then a year later he came up with second quote.
“The people I am working with are happier than a room full of 5-year olds on Christmas morning!"

“We’ve been running an SSD array at ZebraHost for a year now. We are pleased with both reliability and speed. We would recommend this configuration without hesitation. SSD drives are not an issue for us. We just added another server with the same configuration and we are likely to continue to do so as we grow.”
We asked ZebraHost owner Clive Swanepoel whether he was seeing a growing acceptance of SSD technology and whether he was convinced as to the reliability of the technology. His "geek speak" reply can be roughly translated to "yes" and "yes:"
“ZebraHost deploys Smart Storage Systems XceedIOPS SSDs. They come with an unprecedented five-year guarantee. The drives are equipped with a comprehensive error-correction and detection engine, multi-level data-path and code protection, data-fail recovery, advanced thermal management features, and a high reliability back-up power circuitry. These drives offer industry leading endurance. To avoid degradation they are designed with the latest enterprise-grade multi-level cell NAND flash. The flash management algorithm includes bad-block management, wear leveling and minimal write amplification.”
Clive contends that given the powerful processors employed in the newest servers, the remaining bottleneck is the storage system. He says that SSD’s are the single best upgrade for most dedicated servers.
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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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