Trim for RAID0 soon available

According to Storage Reviews, Intel is planning to release an update to its Rapid Storage Technology utility that will add trim support for RAID0. Thanks to this feature it will be possible to set up a level 0 array composed by SSDs without suffering of performance degradation in the long run.

Actually, trim is supported under RAID only in pass-through mode. This means that you can enable it only if the drive isn’t part of a RAID array: the controller will pass the trim commands coming from the OS directly to the SSD.

With the release of the next version of Intel RST, it will be possible to use trim even in a RAID0 array. For storage enthusiasts is a very good news, although the release date is actually unknown.

Anyway, I don’t suggest you to set up a RAID0 array composed by solid state drives. There is no reason to do that in a domestic environment. A RAID0 volume of two disks has a failure rate of 2 times the f.r. of the drives is composed of. Furthermore the speed improvements will be barely noticeable (only with very high queue depths). Most of today’s drive use idle garbage collection and enabling trim is only going to increase moderately the trasfer rate (in the long run). Finally, it’s an expensive solution and the performance gain isn’t worth of it.

Latest SSDs are capable of over 500MB/s of sequential transfer and daily tasks can’t push them to the limits. In a server environment, especially for virtualization tasks, is possible to reach the controller limits but reliability is a real issue and RAID0 isn’t a viable solution. Furthermore there are specific products for this kind of purposes (like OCZ Revo3 drives).

You can check the effects of level 0 RAID on SSD performance consulting this Anandtech’s article

By the way this is the first step for a complete trim support for RAID setups. Level 1 and level 5 support will be a much more valuable feature especially for server admins. For now, it seems we have to thank Intel for this gift waiting for the official release.

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