Here is a good lengthy review of solid state hard drives compared to regular SATA hard drives. We have experimented with some different SSD drives over the last few years and our results have been less then promising. It seems that the specific drive release can be a big factor however and even the better manufacturers have had some bad releases with high failure rates or other problems.
We have found that for many clients, the high cost per GB is not justified in comparison to regular SATA hard drives. If budget is not as much of a concern however, they can add a significant performance increase to a server that needs faster read/write then what they can get on even a 15k RPM drive.
A brief overview of the conclusions of the SSD review article are as follows:
– Manufacturers don’t provide any failure rate statistics. The article relies on data center statistics which varies. Softlayer is the biggest dataset that they had to draw from.
– SSD reliability is not any better than regular SATA drives
– Performance however is significantly better.
– The cost of that performance is a much higher cost per gb of storage.
– A lot of people seem to use SSDs primarily for DB servers and not for the operating system.
– Failures on SSDs can often be without any warning or smart errors at all and the data is sometimes not retrievable in ANY WAY.
Always Backup Your SSD!
Because SSD failure rates can be the same as a regular sata hard drive, it is imperative to ALWAYS have a backup strategy in place if you have important data on the drive. Because an SSD can fail in such a way that the data is not recoverable at all, if you don’t have a current backup of your data, you will loose everything.