What Is an SSD?
An SSD is a Solid State Drive that is used to store data, files and applications, as well as to run computing devices. Solid state drives offer significant performance advantages over conventional hard disk drives (HDDs). HDD’s work by way of a mechanical drive
head that must physically move to access locations on a rapidly-spinning magnetic disk.
When the computer sends a request to retrieve data, the disk and arm must each move to the appropriate location for the data to be collected and sent to the CPU for processing. SSD’s, on the other hand, have no moving parts.
An SSD is actually just a thin wedge of NAND flash memory -exactly same as the one that is there in your USB drive, but rather than being encased in a thin stick, SSD is put inside a shell or enclosure of 2.5 inches along with a SATA interface for enhanced performance levels. Since the data is not stored on rotating platters like HDDs and are instead stored on to NAND flash memory, it can be accessed on any location on the drive with equally fast speed and precision. This means that the typical random data access time on a modern SSD is 0.1ms or less, whereas mainstream 2.5” consumer HDD’s take about 10~12ms. Another way of putting this is that SSD’s are 100 times faster at accessing data than an HDD. This paper attempts to explain how the anatomy and built of an SSD significantly enhances the server performance levels.
Anatomy of an SSD:
Unlike HDDs that have moving parts, the internal components of SSDs (consisting primarily of the Controller and Flash Memory)
are ‘solid’ or ‘static.’ Data can be stored in a permanent state even when the power supply is removed.
Advantages of SSD:
Another advantage SSDs see is their consistent performance. Unlike HDD’s which can suffer from data fragmentation, the use of integrated circuits instead of spinning platters allow SSD’s to manage how the data is stored. This again leads to lower data access latency and need to run defragmentation programs used to manage the storage location on a HDD.
- SSDs are noiseless since they are static devices without any mechanical or moving parts. HDDs on the other hand are mechanical devices with moving parts that make
noise. Also, SSDs have no moving parts so very less heat is generated.
- Since a SSD has no moving parts, it is more likely to keep your data safe if the device is
dropped or knocked around while operating.
Disadvantages of SSD:
- The only disadvantage of SSD drives is that there are a lot more expensive than HDDs. However a few hosts provide SSD drives for nominal pricing.