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SSDs: hype and reality
13.01.2014, 21:00
Over the past few years, solid state drives (SSDs) have been hailed as the solution to all storage problems in workplace systems. Following the common narrative, they boot faster, accelerate access to files and applications, use less energy, and offer better reliability due to the absence of moving parts and higher heat/shock/air pressure tolerance. But is this really the whole story - or are there any hidden deficits/costs? For instance, what happens if a controller fails or a firmware update fries up the drive? Is it still possible to rescue data from such a "broken" SSD, and if so, how long does it take, and what does it cost?

I would like to discuss these and other aspects with storage experts from the community.

16.01.2014, 14:21
At the moment the biggest deficit is that flash memory wears off. Flash media manufacturers have integrated wear levelling mechanisms, spare flash cells etc. to overcome this problem. If your workload is very write-intensive, the media will wear off more quickly. SLC cells last much longer than MLC but are more pricy.

At the end of the day you need to apply the same precautions as for data on spinning disks: for important data, you need RAID protection (against physical errors) and backups (against logical errors). This is always cheaper than a restore service for a SSD or spinning disk. All disk storage subsystems that can hold flash which are sold by Fujitsu (ETERNUS DX, Violin V6000 and Netapp) support RAID.

By the way: just use your favourite search engine on the term "SSD recovery" and you find businesses specialized on SSD recovery.

Hope this helps!


24.02.2014, 07:42
I think for important data one should never rely on one storage system only, regardless how durable, safe or reliable it is said to be.

RAID is a proven concept but it only works within a storage system. I always recommend backup to an external system.

For the long term reliability SSDs still have to prove that they're as safe as other media.

26.03.2014, 21:34
As an additional note: I found this article very interesting.

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