Will an SSD Improve LiveCycle/JBoss StartUp Times?

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.

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4 Responses to Will an SSD Improve LiveCycle/JBoss StartUp Times?

  1. TJ Downes says:

    The answer should be “It depends”. It depends on the speed of the drives you are replacing and the speed of the SSDs you are replacing them with.

    In a typical server environment, you might be using 10,000 RPM or even 15,000 RPM SCSI drives, which are significantly more performant than 7200 RPM desktop SATA drives.

    • Jayan Kandathil says:

      Indeed.

      RT @Johnny_Geez on Twitter:
      “Windows 2k8 VM 4GB RAM with same (ES2/3 SA/Content services) went from 13min on 7200 rpm hdd to 4:30~5 on SSD. Very happy!!”

      So it seems @Johnny_Geez got a 61% improvement.

  2. Alessio says:

    Maybe it’s OT, but in a certain way it is related…

    At the moment, I’m developing with LiveCycle ES2 using a VMWare image on a MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM and 7200 RPM HD.
    I wonder if I can also use a MacBook Air 13″ with SSD, which at max can have 4 GB of RAM. Do you think it is possible to set a development environment which is usable on such a system?

    • Jayan Kandathil says:

      If the machine itself only has 4 GB of RAM, a VM running on it will have to do with less, possibly 3 GB. So it is possible, as long as you don’t deploy BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) and Content Services (which in effect also means no Solution Accelerators).