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Longevity (or not) of SSDs

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Neil Sadwelkar
Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 20, 2013 at 1:15:34 pm

This may not be really topical in an 'Arrays and RAID' forum, but its sort of relevant. In the sense that we've been using RAIDs to enable us to get speeds faster than a single drive (RAID0) while providing some measure of insurance against drive failure (RAID 5/6).

Some of the newer SSDs provide us near-RAID speeds and some even exceed 4-bay/5-bay spinning drive RAIDs. And SSDs are growing in capacity and coming down in price. So they've become a very attractive option for rapid offload of camera media on set. In fact, with Codex and F65 data packs for example, offloading to SSD is often faster than any practical on-set RAID. (interface permitting)

Not that one is suggesting storing camera data permanently on SSDs, but using them as a 'bridge' device between camera card and off-set or near-set RAID and LTOs. SSDs make the kit smaller and less power hungry, besides being faster than drives.

So my question is...
Does anyone have reliable data on how long these things last. Like at what age (or number of uses) do SSDs become unreliable to store data?
One of my fears is that what if one offloads camera cards to SSD and before they can be copied off (to drives/RAIDs/LTOs), they just become unreadable.

One possible insurance would be to offload to two SSDs of two different makes, and to use SSDs only for a certain number of months/years.

Any ideas?

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 20, 2013 at 10:11:46 pm

There isn't a single formula although many SSD makers provide utilities producing "wear" indicators and allowing to customize SSD brains to specific tasks (over-provisioning, scheduled trimming, etc.).

SSDs, like regular platter drives, suffer from both catastrophic (sudden) failures and continuous wear, some less, some more.

That's one of the reasons for enterprise class SSDs, especially Intel DC S3700 series which are far from being the fastest but do focus on consistency of performance - and reliability.

Bottom lines:
- SSDs die and lose data much like spinning drives do, just differently
- SSD have (much) greater non-op shelf life, but do suffer from wear depending on: flash memory type, controller, configuration, type of use
- best use of SSD is caching, not archival. For archival, it's still tapes, mirrored and parity RAID (usually with at least three copies of data), WORM devices.

Disclaimer: most of this info comes from reading tech articles and not from 1st hand experience, so take it with a grain of salt.


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 22, 2013 at 12:56:40 pm

I would handle data on SSD drives like I would work with a raid 0 device. At least a second back-up on HD, better a three way back-up on HD.

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Jon Schilling
Re: Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 22, 2013 at 3:02:26 pm

Neil,

I found this: http://www.auslogics.com/en/turbo-windows/ssd-vs-hard-drive/ in addition to what Alex & Rainer have suggested.

To quote from the article "Another disadvantage of SSD drives is that each flash memory cell on an SSD can endure only so many write cycles. This means that if you subject your SSD to heavy use, its data retention will be shorter than with conventional hard drive."


Jonathan Schilling
Vertical Sales Manager
Proavio Storage by Enhance Technology Inc.
12221 Florence Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Dir: 562-777-3498
Main: 562-777-3488 X106
Fax: 562-777-3499
Email: jon@proavio.com





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Paul King
Re: Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 22, 2013 at 3:38:16 pm

Like most stuff about HDDs and SSDs the focus is on uses other than video storage. We spend most of our RAID use on reads not writes.

Tests I have seen for consumer SSDs show they still work perfectly well after 5 years of simulated use.

However, you could get a faulty one or there may be a run of a bad batch. So unfortunately RAID5 is prudent no matter what. We only do RAID6 now with mechanical drives.

My personal experience has been that SSDs are much more reliable than HDDs. However I think that relates to brand more than technology. I have noticed more failures with say OCZ than with Intel or Sandisk.



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Jon Schilling
Re: Longevity (or not) of SSDs
on Jul 22, 2013 at 3:42:57 pm

Neil,

Cost per GB is still higher for SSD than HDD & that will likely remain the case for some time. As to reliability, it does seem to be all about what brand you get. Some are far superior to others, do your research. Both HDD & SSD are magnetic media & have their positive & negatives attributes.


Jonathan Schilling
Vertical Sales Manager
Proavio Storage by Enhance Technology Inc.
12221 Florence Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Dir: 562-777-3498
Main: 562-777-3488 X106
Fax: 562-777-3499
Email: jon@proavio.com





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