Solving Hard Drive Pain Points with Leading-Edge Solid State Drives

Tien Shiah, Product Marketing Manager – SSD, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., has just authored a series of blogs on the value and efficiency of using solid state drives for notebooks and the enterprise. These blogs reference the use of Samsung SSDs in Dell systems, so they were first published on the Dell Tech Center web site and are reprinted here.

Hard Drive Pains

As you already know, computers require more performance than ever. There are three things that boost computer performance: the processor(s), the memory, and the storage. Processors and memory, being solid-state, have been speeding up every couple of years for decades.  Hard disk drives…not so much.  Their throughput is limited by the nature of their mechanical design – so hard drives are becoming a performance bottleneck. To make matters worse, hard drives also use a lot of power and generate a lot of heat, increasing both power consumption and cooling costs.

Finally, HDDs are more prone to data loss and downtime, mostly because they have moving parts, making them susceptible to shocks from being knocked or dropped.

Organizations spend large amounts of money on client systems, and these problems result in higher capital and operating expenses, as well as user dissatisfaction and lost productivity. They need:

a. Drive technology that increases performance by accessing data very quickly (latency) and moving large amounts of data rapidly (throughput)

b. Drive technology that doesn’t consume much power, doesn’t produce much heat, and doesn’t cause cooling problems – thereby reducing the load on laptop batteries.

c. Drives that are highly reliable and aren’t easy to break.

Solving the Problem

There’s a simple solution to all these pains that’s field-tested, proven in millions of deployments, and widely available. It’s the SSD.

SSD is an acronym for “Solid State Drive.” Unlike hard drives, which spin platters of magnetic media, SSDs have no moving parts. SSDs are typically made up of NAND Flash, which, unlike RAM, stores data on chips for long-periods of time.  Originally, SSD drives were mostly deployed in very expensive PCs but, as costs have come down and both capacity and reliability has significantly improved, they’re seen as an essential component of many desktops, laptops and mobile workstations.

SSDs are the most cost effective way to boost performance.  Dell tests have shown that one Samsung SSD can equal the performance of 900 hard drives.  SSDs also fix power problems — a typical SSD consumes half the power of a typical hard drive.  SSDs generate almost no heat as well, which reduces power consumption still further. Finally, SSDs help resolve maintenance issues because they’re more durable.

Organizations benefit from SSDs in many ways. Thanks to SSD performance, imaging new clients takes minutes instead of hours. That translates into faster setup and less admin time babysitting installation. SSDs don’t need additional hardware or management tools.  And SSDs, since they don’t have moving parts, are less likely to be damaged by impact, shock, power issues, etc. That means they last longer and are rated for the serviceable life of the notebook – and beyond.

Now, it’s true that on a per gigabyte basis, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs – though costs are decreasing. Although SSDs are more expensive, they excel at IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) so should be deployed where very rapid access to data is the key metric. Typically, rapid data access occurs during boot and during heavy disk access for large files. Though most buyers choose SSD to increase boot times and maximize performance, some buyers also see value in using SSD as a tool to future-proof their deployments.

Use Cases

But since SSDs increase system cost, what are the best use cases?

a. For light use – basic web apps, cloud based applications, other than reducing boot time, SSDs won’t offer much benefit.

b. For general business productivity, SSDs offer noticeable advantages.  Many business users will value faster boot times as well.

c. For computer aided design and scientific computing, as well as graphic design and video editing, SSDs are absolutely essential.

d. But it’s also worth remembering…if any customer wants performance or durability, adding an SSD is the most cost effective upgrade.

Want to learn more?

In conclusion, organizations that deploy PCs ought to be considering widespread SSD adoption. Samsung is the world’s leading supplier of SSDs, as well as the NAND memory used in these storage devices. With cutting edge technology, the company is driving SSD price points and capacities that enable broad market adoption. Popular drive capacities start at 128GB, but 256 and 512GB are becoming increasingly popular.

For more information about Samsung SSDs, please visit:http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/flash-ssd/overview

For more information about Dell notebooks with SSDs, please visit:http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/04/sb360/samsung