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Solid State Drives

The current era has been aptly named as the age of information since the amount and volume of available information is literally exploding every day. With so much information and data processing, it is equally important that ways to store, manage and retrieve this data and information are developed and deployed.

Technology related to data storage has been making rapid strides with new techniques and advances in existing technologies. Nowadays the hard disk drives are quite popular but they do have their own set of disadvantages such as the presence of moving metal platters and read-write heads, which makes the system prone to various kinds of mechanical failures and relatively lower read-write access times.

One of the recent additions to the data storage devices (http://www.losangeles-datarecovery.com) are the solid state drives or SSDs. An SSD simply refers to a data storage device which is comprised of solid state components. Of course it must be mentioned that the term “recent” does not imply that SSD came on the horizon just few weeks or few months ago. In fact the history of SSDs can be traced back to at least three decades when semiconductor based SSDs were deployed in supercomputers built by companies such as IBM and Amdahl.

In the modern context, an SSD would refer to a non-volatile flash memory fabricated out of semiconductors, chips and other types of non-mechanical parts. You might be tempted to equate this with the external USB flash drives which we often use, but SSDs on the other hand are normally used internally in lieu of the traditional hard disk drives.

SSDs have to offer several advantages over hard drives since they are totally made out of non-mechanical components, the risks associated with the latter are literally eliminated. This makes an SSD quite energy efficient vis-a-vis their hard drive counterparts. The access times to data is also reduced drastically because there are no spinning motors or platters involved but only electronic signals are involved, which makes the process much faster on the whole. It was demonstrated by Fujitsu recently that the boot up speed on a normal laptop notebook was increased by as much as 20% when SSD was used in place of the conventional hard disk inside the computer. To paraphrase the words of the man who first stepped on the moon – these factors may not seem much productive from the individual standpoint, but the overall gain in efficiency from such small steps could be a giant leap for an enterprise.

 



One of the most important factors associated with the use of solid state drives is the higher level of reliability they have to offer. Hard drives by nature of their construction are quite fragile and even minor impact could result in data loss. Of course there are provisions for data recovery such as hard drive recovery and RAID data recovery, apart from data back-up facilities; still the system is quite sensitive to such factors. The use of solid state devices minimizes such risks, even if it may not be able to fully nullify them.

Yet this does not mean to say that SSDs are a viable option in every situation. One of the most important grey areas where SSDs lack behind traditional methods of data storage is the cost factor. We know that financial constraints present one of the most formidable challenges to any organization. SSD storage is several times higher in cost of storing data in HDDs for the same amount of data. This means that for use in gigantic data volume handling, the cost of the overall data storage system would be several times higher. Of course it needs to be seen by concerned personnel that the optimum trade-off between performance and cost is achieved at which intermediate point.

We can see that the use of solid state data storage devices will certainly occupy prominent position in the days to come and would reduce problems associated with data recovery, data loss, and many more once the other factors such as cost are brought under control.