Using RAM instead of disk for build servers (was: Re: Build servers offline due to failed SSD)

Daniel J. Luke dluke at
Mon Mar 15 21:26:16 UTC 2021

On Mar 14, 2021, at 6:38 PM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at> wrote:
> As far as longevity, the previous set of 3 500 GB SSDs I bought for these servers in 2016 lasted 4-5 years. They were rated for 150 TBW (terabytes written) and actually endured around 450 TBW by the time they failed, or 3 times as long as they were expected to last. The new SSDs are rated for 300 TBW, and if they also last 3 times longer than that, then they might last 8-10 years, by which time we might have completely abandoned Intel-based Macs and be totally switched over to Apple Silicon hardware and will have no use for the Xserves anymore.

Thanks for including this information - it's similar to experience I've had with SSDs for $work. I'd be really surprised if we care about builds on the xserves in 8-10 years (given our previous experience with the ppc to x86 transition).

I haven't looked recently, but I recall xserves being somewhat picky about their internal drives - have you found that specific SSDs work well (vs others that don't)? I'm assuming you've installed them on the internal trays - but maybe that's a bad assumption.

Daniel J. Luke

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