SSD – better performance; How about the reliability?

There has been many articles praising and reviewing high performance of SSDs compared to the old mechanical workhorses of the computer world – the hard disk drive. It has been generally assumed that the SSDs offer not only the performance benefit but also the reliability due to the lack of moving parts.

Since SSDs are very new to the computer industry compared to HDDs, there are only a handful of reliability studies showing the practical nature of the solid state drives. As more large data warehouses and other large operators start to adopt the faster SSDs, a preliminary reliability picture starts to emerge; and it is quite surprising.

Usually when one reads or hears about the SSDs, its reliability is supported by a simple fact- the lack of moving parts. However, not many talk about the ever decreasing production size of the NAND flash memory to 25nm raising the risk of data stability or firmware and IC failures raising the risk of the total drive failure.

The SSD technology is new and there are many challenges facing the newcomer. The biggest challenge is the price – the industry is trying to rush to reduce the cost of the SSDs to help with the market adoption. With the rush come mistakes and issues with the reliability. Early adopters who are looking for best performance help the rest of us by purchasing and experimenting with the drives. For those who are looking at SSDs for reliability, it is best to wait until the experimentation is complete.

Early studies into the SSD reliability show comparable results to HDDs. However, it may be too early to tell how the SSDs fare due to the lack of sufficient solid state drives in the market for comparison to the HDDs. It is certain that if reliability is your top concern, the new technology of SSD may be too new and too rushed to get into.

Want a fast computer? SSD is your solution.

As usual, folks at Tomshardware spent considerable time in reviewing various SSDs. It is interesting to see how the SSDs progress in defeating HDDs. However, it is only logical that superior technology and the lack of moving parts creates best performance package.

As the author from Tomshardware puts it:

“We understand that SSD prices don’t make it easy to adopt the latest technology. Maybe that’s why you aren’t too keen on blowing a couple hundred dollars on solid-state storage, especially when you can spend the same amount and buy four 2 TB hard drives or a high-performance processor. That’s why it’s important to put things into perspective. Over the past five years, CPU performance has hit new and unforeseen heights, and processors are increasingly spending time waiting on data from hard drives. This is what makes storage today’s most glaring bottleneck. Overcoming it requires an SSD.”

Check out the full review here Summary : Best SSDs For The Money: July 2011.

USB flash drives and Cloud storage

Fast speed Internet connections are now a requirement for even the basic Web browsing.  The computers and laptops also have to stay ahead to meet the ever expanding requirements of numerous videos, music, and flash animations.

The combination of computer power and ever increasing need to store more data, generates an equal need to have the data backup. Many solutions are being offered by large power houses such as Microsoft and Google for cloud applications; additionally there are many more that offer cloud backup as well as plain data storage.

What is cloud computing anyway? The basic concept involves networking a large number of server computers to enable data storage or application environments for the end user such as yourself. These server computers may be sitting on the property of the company from which you receive the service or distributed in many locations all over the world.

The cloud computing asks you to put your trust in the service provider ability to keep your data safe and secure. Do you have the trust in your cloud service provider?

For those people who must answer “No” for any reason, the local storage of sensitive data is much more comforting. The flash memory data storage such as flash drives and SSD (solid state drives) are growing larger and offer faster speeds with USB 3.0. The ability to use strong encryption algorithms to protect the data and keeping the data close raises the comfort to a level which the cloud computing has a hard time to reach.

Cloud computing is a great way to store, backup, create, and organize casual data and documents. If you have sensitive data or you don’t feel the unconditional trust for the cloud service provider, consider the flash memory route with the encrypted flash drives and SSDs.