Get Even More out of your QLC for SQL Server

By Dilim Nwobu - 2018-09-12

Hey, everyone, in my last blog post, “Getting More Performance with Micron 5210 ION SSDs,” I was able to show optimized system performance with Micron 5210 QLC SSDs by moving TempDB from a Microsoft SQL Server 2017 instance to a general purpose or write intensive drive, the Micron 5200 PRO TLC SSD. Recently, our team started looking into solutions involving NVDIMM's and I decided to take the learnings from the previous test a step further.

The Setup

Dell PowerEdge 740XD

2x Intel Xeon 8168

384 GB RAM


4x Micron 5210 ION 7.68TB QLC SSD

Windows Server 2016

SQL Server 2017 Enterprise

TPC-H 3000 scale factor dataset

The setup here is virtually the same as the previous 5200 configuration with one major exception, we replaced the Micron 5200 PRO SSD with 12x NVDIMMs formatted into a simple storage space (capacity is a premium with these) and placed TempDB on this volume. Just as before, we ran a single stream executing all 22 of the TPC-H queries to measure the stream run time and disk throughput.

The Results and Analysis

more qlc 1

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Compared to the original 5210 ION configuration, adding the NVDIMMs cut our stream time by more than half. In addition, we achieved a 35% stream time improvement over the 5200 PRO + 5210 ION configuration. Our results are consistent with our previous testing where moving the writes from TempDB to faster media allowed overall read throughput to increase. We can see that the NVDIMM configuration improved dramatically with an 87 percent gain over the 5210 ION only configuration and a 22 percent increase over the 5200 PRO + 5210 ION configuration.

This proof of concept testing shows how using NVDIMMs in block mode can improve performance for application use cases that may not need much capacity.

Would You like to Know more?

In addition to demonstrating the value of QLC drive, keep an eye out for more information on leveraging NVDIMMs to improve your system performance. In the meantime, check out some of our tech briefs on the 5210 and Micron NVDIMMs. Learn more about how these Micron solutions can address your needs.


Have questions about our testing or methodology? Leave a comment below or you can email us at

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Dilim Nwobu

Dilim Nwobu started his career at Dell Technologies where he worked on storage, custom solutions and server platform development. At Micron, Dilim is a storage solution engineer where he focuses on testing Micron products with Microsoft technologies, namely SQL Server and Azure Stack HCI.