Solid State

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Virtual Desktops on PCI-E SSD

In this series I am going to be looking at how PCI-E SSDs can be used with VDI, I’ll be covering the hardware in use, the user experience and also why I believe PCI-E SSDs to be the best option to get your virtual desktops running as fast as possible. Continue reading

Its been a little while since posting What happens when you put a OCZ PCI-E SSD in a server? and I thought I would give an update to its progress.

After 2520 hours powered on (about 105 days or 3.5 months) the SSD is yet to give us any trouble – that’s while hosting 3 a fully active virtual machines covering Lync 2010 install (IM/and now moving into VOIP) , a App-V server and now a UAG 2010.

The full SMART details can be seen in the image to the side (using the OCZ Toolbox) and as you will see the drive is still reporting no reserve blocks used.

My intent would be to see how one (or maybe two of these drives in software RAID0) will work when hosting a number of virtual desktops but going to have to wait until April for that!

Last year just before Christmas I was very close to getting a Motorola Xoom Android Tablet PC but after much thought I changed my mind and decided that I would wait for Windows 8. Looking at the reasons below most of these relate to my nature as a IT professional and how I would use the tablet at both home, out and about and also at work.

Windows 8 is the match for my choice in phone and online services

I use Windows Live quite extensively covering Mail, SkyDrive (Photo storage/Documents), Contacts and Calendar – all of which integrate natively with my Windows Phone.

Microsoft has also demonstrated (video to the right) as to how these web services are built right into the OS in a way that is already familiar to me. This kind of continuity between devices can’t be matched and Android tablets (although Apple does very well with the iPhone and iPad offering a very similar user experience). Continue reading

After the previous article looking at the merits of a Solid State drive in a server I had a root around the Internet and found out that normal 2.5″ (Notebook PC sized) SSDs are nearly at the £1/1GB magical price point.

The particular drive I’m looking at is the OCZ Technology 120GB Agility 3 from which currently ships (free postage!) at £129.99.
You might think that for this kind of low price that this is some kind of previous generation SSD – you would however be wrong, the Agility 3 series is from OCZs latest line up and includes 6Gbs SATA.

So why is £1/1GB so magical? Well in a real sense its not – just a nice milestone to reach, either way for more info visit the OCZ Agility 3 web page.

For a while I’ve been wondering just how well a PCI-Express Solid State drive would work inside a standard off the shelf rack mounted server. Finally I have been given the chance to find out and as it turns out everything works quite nicely.

The solid state in question is a OCZ Revo Drive 3 x2 240GB (from Novatech) and the server is a HP DL165 G7. Both the SSD and the server have the latest BIOS updates and although initially the server didn’t boot past POST after a little tweaking (inside the BIOS of the server) I got everything to work along quite nicely.

Sufficed to say the performance is astonishing even when compared against a RAID array of 15k SAS drives but then again that’s nothing to be surprised about given the SSDs ability to randomly read data from anywhere on the drive without having to wait for a mechanical spinning disk to catch up. Continue reading