Yes. By 25%, in the test described below.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) with no moving parts are now beginning to show up in high-end workstations and rack-mounted servers.
I recently got access to a Dell Precision T7500 workstation with four SATA (Serial ATA) disk drives, two of them SSDs and two of them traditional mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) with multiple read/write heads and platters that spin at 7,200 RPM.
For the record, the workstation had 12 GB of RAM and two quad-core Intel Xeon X5677 3.5 GHz CPUs. Java heap size for JBoss was set to 5 GB. The SSDs were MZ5PA256 from Samsung (256 GB, 3.0 Gbps SATA). The HDDs were WD3200AAKS Caviar Blue from Western Digital (320 GB, 3.0 Gbps SATA 7200 RPM).
I cloned a LiveCycle ES2.5/JBossAS 4.2.1/Oracle 11g environment (with all three Solution Accelerators as well as Content Services) to the SSD and the HDD and tested them separately. I adopted the Anandtech approach – conduct 3 tests, and take the median to report results. Oracle was on a separate server.
JBoss startup on the HDD was 4 minutes and 1 second (241 seconds). On the SSD, this was 3 minutes and 2 seconds (182 seconds). That is 59 seconds (25%) better.
JBoss startup times are usually good indicators of the system’s storage capabilities. If your JBoss startup time is more than 5 minutes, you should take a critical look at your hardware.
Here is a Tom’s Hardware review of SSDs in RAID configurations.