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SSD: How to pick a winner?

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Matt Pfingsten
SSD: How to pick a winner?
on May 13, 2017 at 5:46:02 am

So like most editors I've been buying hard drives for a long time and know what to look for in terms of tech specs, who the good brands are, how much I should be paying, etc.

But I don't know anything about SSD's other than the various form factors they come in. Who are the good manufacturers? Are there enterprise class SSD's and what makes them different? What about failure rates and longevity? What about archival use? How do they compete with LTO in that regard?

Thanks


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alex gardiner
Re: SSD: How to pick a winner?
on May 15, 2017 at 8:11:40 pm

> Who are the good manufacturers?

I've had good results from Samsung and Intel drives.

Most flash is manufactured by a handful of big players.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/275886/market-share-held-by-leading-nan...

> Are there enterprise class SSD's and what makes them different?

Yes.

Traditionally they have SLC type cells, which should (in theory) have greater endurance. You can google about the differences between SLC, MLC and TLC.

Some enterprise drives have firmware tuned for different workloads.

In reality it has proven very hard for consumer end SSD's to be killed, even after writing many TB through them.

Most manufacturers supply comprehensive utilities to report cell wear and reallocation. On Linux you can use something like hdparm.

> What about failure rates and longevity?

I'd be as bold to say that you're unlikely to completely kill a current or previous generation SSD... well not unless you are actually trying to, or do something wrong.

Performance over time probably has more to do with if the host environment has TRIM/discard support/effectiveness of the garbage collection. For some workloads you seldom see slowdowns - it just depends.

> What about archival use? How do they compete with LTO in that regard?

In tiered storage SSD's usually sit in front of HDDs, which are sometimes in front of tape.

In my opinion they not really comparable ideas because tape robust in ways that SSD's are not supposed to be.

Storage Engineer
alex@indiestor.com


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