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6 Surprising (SSD) Solid State Storage Facts for 2018

Solid State Storage Facts 2017-2018

Very much unlike traditional hard drives which utilize magnetic media for the purpose of digital storage space, solid state storage drives use semiconductor chips instead. These flash-based electronic circuits are also a type of non-volatile memory, as opposed to the volatile memory offered up from a computer’s set of RAM, or Random Access Memory, modules.

A computer’s RAM is volatile as the memory is lost on power loss. However, with solid-state storage flash technology being non-volatile, the memory is retained even after power shut down. Now while digital storage does remain on traditional hard disk drives utilizing magnetic media after power loss as well, there are many advantages that solid-state storage offers over this traditional digital storage format.

For starters, solid state storage units are faster. A user will be able to transfer files more quickly using this medium, computers will boot faster, and an application’s launch and run time will improve noticeably. Also, mechanical hard disk drives will fragment over time. This will slow down read and write access. They can be defragged to compensate for the process of fragmentation, but this is a time-consuming process. Solid state drives lack a physical read head too, as there is no need for one. They are simply a better design out of the gate in the speed arena in comparison to magnetic based storage mediums.

In addition, solid-state storage drives consume less power. This is because there is no power draw to the motors, like in their traditional disk drive competition. Hard disk drive manufacturers have attempted to address this to some extent by allowing the drives to spin down at opportune times, but they still will always use more power.

Also, solid state storage drives are highly secure. Advanced AES 256-bit encryption is supported for the data that is stored on these units. In fact, the majority of SSDs now manufactured have an AES chip built right in, to help encrypt and decrypt stored data on the fly.

While solid-state drives may seem like the perfect solution for digital storage, and in many ways they truly are, there also exists the drawback of memory wear that stems from the use of this technology over time. Flash memory has the inherent problem of having only a limited number of program-erase cycles> which are used to write data to the internal cells, thereby reducing the life of the drives. Now while these drives may not be able to be used forever, mechanical drives utilize moving parts, which will eventually fail too. Though it is largely because of the memory-wear drawback that hybrid drives emerged. Do note though that with recent technological advancements made to SSD controllers, wear-leveling techniques are now implemented to increase the life of these drives dramatically.

Hybrid drives are essentially a mechanical drive with a flash-based solid-state drives (SSD) statistics and technology cache. These drives combine the large storage space found in mechanical hard drives with the fast NAND flash-based storage used in solid-state drives as a cache for data that is continuously accessed.

Solid state storage technology is not always only found in drives. There are also the solid state cards and solid-state modules form factors, as well. The NAND flash chips in production today are found in three varieties: SLC, or single-level cell, MLC, or multi-level cell, and eMLC, or enterprise multi-level cell. Single-level cell is actually the most pricey of all the different forms of NAND flash chips used in solid-state storage. In this type, a single bit is stored for each chip cell, as opposed to the 2-bits stored in each chip cell in the case of implementing multi-level cell. The third type, eMLC exists as an improved form of MLC, utilizing both programmed software and a controller to help address some of the issues with MLC-based NAND flash storage.

The speed that can be expected from solid-state storage has shaken up the solid state storage industry facts and now solid state drives, or SSDs for short, are literally available just about anywhere their predecessors, or traditional HDDs, or hard disk drives for short, can be found.

Gaming on PCs is one arena where quick processing is highly regarded. Nowadays one of the ways to upgrade one’s PC to be up to snuff, so to speak, to run at optimum speed is to replace one’s old HDD with a SSD. Games and applications are run off of the files that make up the respective game or application and these files all consist of digital data on a storage medium. Given that SSDs are simply put, fast, in fact way faster than mechanical drives based on a magnetic storage medium, they are becoming ever popular with gamers.

Popular web hosts are increasingly moving to industrial micro SSDs for storage. In this realm, speed is highly regarded too. Faster drives equate to faster web page load times. Web hosts such as InMotion Hosting and A2 Hosting are just two big names in this industry to adopt the technology in recent years.

As the cost per gigabyte goes down over time as manufacturing processes for this technology become more and more perfected, look to solid-state storage to completely replace its slower predecessor, mechanical-based drives, altogether.

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