SSDs for the Enterprise – Can You Afford to Wait any Longer?

Posted on 04/03/2013 by

Ryan Smith

We’ve reached an important juncture in the market acceptance of solid state drives (SSDs). SSDs are rapidly gaining in popularity not only among consumers, but also in the enterprise. Many IT professionals are recognizing the benefits of SSDs and replacing hard disk drives (HDDs) in key server applications.

I’d like to take a few minutes to highlight what I think are the most salient points that underscore the superiority of SSD storage over hard disk drives for data center applications. 

  • Speed: Hard drives have spinning disks that can do a max of 400 IOPS. SSDs can go up to 101,000 IOPS or faster. This is equivalent to 250 spinning disks! Simply put, SSD performance cannot be matched by spinning disk – not by a long shot.
  • Efficiency: Power consumption is significantly lower in SSDs. I’m speaking about idle power as well as active power. A recent Microsoft TPC-H study showed overall system power savings of 94% to be gained from using an SSD. 
  • Reliability: No matter how you look at it, enterprise SSD’s provide superior reliability. For example, MTBF (mean time between failure) for HDD’s is 1.6 million hours; SSDs provide 2 million hours.
  • Consistent Performance: SSDs have no moving parts and, therefore, are not susceptible to RVI (rotational vibration interference). SSDs are free from the undesirable performance dips or drive failures induced by RVI, which are one of the hardest problems to troubleshoot in the enterprise space.
  • Pricing: SSDs were traditionally priced in a way that left them unaffordable for many system architectures.  That is not the case anymore. Advances have been made in underlying NAND flash and controller technologies that have resulted in lower overall pricing, which has in turn moved IT professionals to not only replace HDDs but to also invest in higher SSD capacities.
  • Cost Advantages: In many cases, the cost of an SSD can actually be less than a hard drive! HDD densities keep going up and up. However, for apps that don’t require huge amounts of capacity (such as boot drives for servers), lower density SSDs provide a much better price point over HDDs. 

These are key reasons why the enterprise market is moving towards SSDs over HDDs.  I think you will agree that it’s quite a compelling case.  We’d be interested in knowing what other advantages you have found with using SSDs in the enterprise space.  Let me know by emailing us at ssd@ssi.samsung.com.

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