Solid-state drive

A solid state drive (or SSD) is a type of storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory. Technically, solid-state drives are not hard drives as they are not composed of any moving parts, unlike hard drives. Within a hard drive, there is a spinning disk with a read/write head on a metal arm. This is called an actuator. A solid-state drive, on the other hand, has an array of semiconductor memory organised as a disk drive, using integrated circuits rather than magnetic or optical storage media. SSDs have much lower random access and read access latency than HDDs, making them ideal for both heavy read and random workloads.

High-performance servers, laptopsdesktops or any application that needs to deliver information in real-time or near real-time can benefit from solid-state drive technology.

SSD v HDD, the pros and cons

  • SSD performance is considered to be much faster than the highest performance electromechanical (HDD) disk drives. Seek time and latency are also substantially reduced, and end users typically enjoy much faster boot times
  • In general, SSDs are more durable and much quieter than HDDs, with no moving parts to break or spin up or down.
  • In addition, SSDs have a set life expectancy, with a finite number of write cycles before performance becomes erratic. This is not really a disadvantage per se, as HDDs also degrade and eventually fail over time.
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