Kingston Partnered with Peer 1 Hosting to meet demand for Server SSDs, reliability
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Kingston Partnered with Peer 1 Hosting to meet demand for Server SSDs, reliability


My Name is John Hamner. I’m product manager with PEER1 Hosting. I am responsible for identifying new technology for PEER1; benchmarking, writing requirements, etcetera. I’m responsible for the server lineup here at PEER1 Hosting and all the hardware components, as well as storage technologies. PEER1 Hosting has over 13,000 customers; anything ranging from a small mom-and-pop website up to a very large enterprise scale application. We have several different business offerings. We offer co-location, managed hosting, dedicated hosting, as well as a public cloud. As far as IT infrastructure we have several different server offerings. We have a very small server configuration that only offers 2 hard drives, anything that scales up to 16 hard drives. Memory capacity is anywhere from 8GB up to 756GB of memory per server. So, it’s pretty diverse because have a lot of different offerings to be able to suit all the different customers out there. Our managed hosting business is very up and down. Any day of the week, any time of the day we can have a customer come in that demands 10,000 servers chock-full of SSDs (solid state drives). Our business is very up and down like that so we really needed a partner to be able to come through and be able to actually provide that. There was a lot of reason we chose Kingston. One of them was the performance. Their performance was absolutely fantastic. It actually really exceeded what we expected during our lab testing. Their benchmarking, read/write speed, caching on/off, etcetera – all of those things were great. One of the things I was really impressed with was the read/write speed. Typically, when you get to an eMLC type of drive, the type of I/O you get isn’t always quite realized in a single-drive configuration. What we saw in the single-drive configuration that this was actually quite high. I don’t recall the actual numbers, but when it goes into RAID configuration we are able to achieve anywhere between 50,000 to 60,000 IOPS. The second thing was the level of service we received from Kingston which was 2nd to none. Our representative is always very readily available, very open and honest with us in particular with the way the trends were going with the industry, etcetera. So service was really high up on the list. But sourceability was huge. Kingston is one of the only suppliers out there that can actually really keep up with our needs. It’s nothing standard outside of our practice for installing any type of drive. Kingston offers the form factor we like which is 2.5 inch drives. They are pretty easy to install. One if the interesting things that we found with the imaging process was a lot of the drivers were pretty native. So it didn’t really require us to do any special tweaking on our end to be able to deploy these. With regards to the NoSQL customers, typically, we did not have a very roust offering for them. We used standard SATA drives or SAS drives but that didn’t really have the availability that customers in that particular portion of the market really had a need for. We basically are now able to go after a portion of the market that previously we didn’t really have a great offering for. The fact the Kingston uses eMLC technology really increases our return on investment because we know the drives are going to last a lot longer than MLC drives that most of our competitors are offering today. So what we ended up doing was giving the customers a longer life cycle, less replacement time, more uptime, and moving toward the PEER1 policy with 99.9% uptime. Normally what you’d expect to see with a commodity-type hard drive, whether it be SATA or SAS, is a failure from every 1 to 2 years. With our testing as well as the Kingston testing that I have experienced first-hand we really expect that failure rates for the drives to drop dramatically. What that means for our customers is that when they can expect to see, on average, 1 to 2 drive failures every year or two they can now expect to see those probably extend to about a 5 or 6 year period. One of the things that Kingston does for us is take the supply chain question out of the equation. Our account representatives usually manage that. They manage our levels, they see trends, they make recommendations to us, etcetera. And they are very easy to work with in regards to large orders or anything that comes down the pipe. One of the things we’re really excited about is that we are able to partner with Kingston on this particular portion of our business. We’ve been a Kingston partner for many, many years but this is just a new offering that we have been asking for, for a long time. So, it is just great to be able to have this available for our customers.

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