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Punishing Test Casts Doubt On Long Held Ssd Beliefs

Punishing Test Casts Doubt on Long-held SSD Beliefs

Arraya Insights | December 15, 2014

One of the knocks against solid-state drives (SSDs) was that, despite the higher level of performance they offered, they weren’t as durable as their counterparts, hard disk drive (HDD). As a result, the opinion prevailed that they just couldn’t be counted on. At least not for the long haul, anyway. There was always the fear that an SSD would just unexpectedly conk out, leaving users in a decidedly unenviable position.

One ongoing study seems to indicate that those fears may be misplaced. The study, which is being conducted by Tech Report, is investigating just how far SSD can be pushed before it finally breaks down.

Six consumer-grade SSDs were brought in to be the test subjects in the experiment. Of the six SSDs which started the race over one year ago, only two are still going strong.

How are they holding up?

At first that doesn’t sound like it disproved any of the theories surrounding SSD’s durability. The thing is, the four that died didn’t go down without first putting up quite the fight. The four devices finally wore out after processing between 728 terabytes and 1.2 petabytes of writes each. That put each of them well-passed their officially listed endurance specifications.  

As for the two SSD devices that are still standing, they’ve both eclipsed 2 petabytes in total data writes. One of the devices has suffered a few fairly significant errors, while the other continues to go strong. Either way, Tech Report points out they’ve both processed a tremendous amount of data, especially considering these are consumer-grade devices. The plan is to continue the trial until there are no devices left standing – however long that may take.

The important thing to remember in all of this is that flash memory, by its very nature, will eventually begin to degrade over time. That much is true. But, in terms of durability, modern SSD seems to have advanced well beyond its previous reputation of being frail and unreliable.

 If your company has been toying with the idea of making the switch to SSD, but hasn’t yet committed, now’s the perfect time to get started. A study like this one can at least help to start clearing up the misconceptions, so that IT can focus on all of the positive attributes of SSD, i.e., increased speed and both energy and space savings.

The veteran team at Arraya Solutions can provide the support and guidance a company needs throughout a transition to SSD. To learn more about how Arraya can help, visit www.ArrayaSolutions.com or reach out to your Account Executive today.