TRIM, RAID to play nice with next Intel RST update


— 10:40 AM on November 21, 2011

Impressive as their access times and transfer rates may be, solid-state drives are dogged by a block-rewrite penalty that can sap write performance with prolonged use. Garbage-collection routines attempt to minimize the impact of this troublesome attribute of flash memory, but the TRIM command is a much more straightforward way of dealing with the problem. The thing is, it doesn't work with solid-state members of RAID arrays.

That may change soon, because an alpha release of Intel's Rapid Storage Technology drivers reportedly promises future TRIM support for SSDs running in striped RAID 0 arrays. This TRIM support "will be added in the next RST 11.5 release."

There was some confusion the last time Intel drivers added TRIM support associated with RAID. Last year, the RST 9.6 release added TRIM support for RAID configurations, but only for SSDs acting as single drives alongside a separate array attached to the same Intel storage controller. The "TRIM on RAID 0" language is a clearer this time, although no release date is given for the driver update.

We've contacted Intel for clarification and will update this post when we hear back. Thanks to the enterprising StorageReview readers who dug this one up.

   
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