Investing in SSDs for Startups: When to Splurge on EVO PRO


Our startup is considering upgrading our servers with SSDs, but we’re on a tight budget. The cost difference between purchasing sixteen 2TB QVO drives at $200 each and sixteen 2TB EVO PRO drives at $550 each is substantial—$3,200 versus $8,800. How can I rationalize the extra expense for the EVO PRO drives?

The drives will be configured in a RAID 5 array, serving as a VMWare host with an Elasticsearch Data and Master node on each of four servers. We write approximately 250 GB of data daily across all disks, which is then transferred to a SAN after about a month.

Could you provide your expert opinion on whether the premium for the EVO PRO drives is warranted in this scenario?”


The Samsung QVO and EVO PRO SSDs differ primarily in the type of NAND flash memory used. The QVO models utilize QLC (Quad-Level Cell) NAND, which stores four bits per cell, making it more cost-effective but offering lower endurance and slower write speeds after the SLC cache is exhausted. On the other hand, the EVO PRO models use MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND, with two bits per cell, providing higher endurance and consistent performance.

Performance Considerations for Your Use Case

In a RAID 5 array serving as a VMWare host with Elasticsearch nodes, performance and reliability are paramount. The daily data write volume of 250 GB suggests a high I/O workload, which could benefit from the superior write endurance and consistent performance of the EVO PRO drives. Moreover, SSD RAID can improve performance, especially in applications where data read/write speed and protection are crucial.

Cost Justification for EVO PRO

The initial cost difference is indeed substantial; however, the EVO PRO’s higher endurance means they are likely to last longer under heavy write loads, potentially offering a better long-term return on investment. Additionally, the performance consistency of EVO PRO drives could translate into faster data processing and retrieval times, which is critical for applications like Elasticsearch that are sensitive to I/O performance.

Expert Opinion

Given the high I/O demands of your servers and the critical nature of the data being processed, investing in the EVO PRO drives could be justified. The enhanced durability and consistent performance could lead to fewer drive replacements over time and better overall system reliability, which is essential for a startup relying on its data infrastructure for daily operations.

In conclusion, while the QVO drives offer a tempting short-term saving, the EVO PRO drives provide a balance of performance and endurance that is likely to be more cost-effective in the long run, especially for a data-intensive and write-heavy environment like yours. It’s a classic case of “you get what you pay for,” and in this scenario, the premium for the EVO PRO drives seems warranted.

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