SSD: super super drives

If your development machines don’t have solid state drives (SSDs): go buy some.

If your continous integration (build) box doesn’t have a solid state drive: go buy one.

Solid state drives are the quickest and cheapest way to speed software development. As most continuous integrations/builds are IO, solid state drives provide tremendous speed increases: I’ve seen builds and tests run in less than a fifth of the time a traditional moving hard disk would take. Solid state drives have reached a price point where the lower capacity ones are on par with higher capacity hard disks (which you don’t need unless you’re storing movies etc.)

It used to be that the build machine would use some crappy hardware lying around: often an old development machine someone no longer used. This is one of the worst decisions you can make on a project.

Having a super fast SSD based build machine will ensure fast, reliable build results, fast feedback and a happy development team.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

2 thoughts on “SSD: super super drives”

  1. Interesting post. What about the test servers and the automation test machines?

    In some cases for web apps/sites, the build/code is not really compiled like Java/.NET but simply pushed to the test environment servers (that mimick production) with the latest code/files (e.g. PHP, javascript, HTML, CSS).

    And for test automation, like Selenium, do you think there is benefit to have SSDs on the machines that run the Selenium tests/code and/or on the machines that run the Selenium Grid/nodes with the actual browsers receiving the test commands and executing them?

    And what about load/performance testing, would having SSDs on the load generating tool machine help speed up or scale up load testing (I guess in terms of data logging the huge test result data to file).


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