The Rise of Solid State Storage

Solid-state storage is the talk of the industry these days, promising an evolutionary step in the storage space. More and more, businesses are adopting Solid State Disks (SSDs), and in fact, Intel SSDs have scored well in our Windows IT Pro Community Choice and Editors' Best awards. That being said, some IT pros are hesitant about taking on such a young technology. Like any technology, as it has matured it has become more affordable, and so it has become quite enticing.

Of course, the primary benefit of SSD storage is that it has no mechanical parts. Data transfers to and from SSDs occur much more quickly than with typical disk drives. An SSD, says Les Tokar, "is like an array of flash memory modules similar to a flash drive which are controlled in such a way that, once the computer is shut off, it retains its memory unlike normal computer RAM. The SSD is totally different than RAM, in that it is made of flash memory rather than volative memory, thus bringing into existence the term 'solid state memory.' With computer memory (RAM), when you turn off the computer, it 'forgets' what was stored there. With an SSD, like a hard drive, the idea is of course it permanently stores and remembers the data you put on it. That data can be anything from an operating system to a music file."

Where SSDs suffer in comparision with typical hard drives is storage capacity. Flash USB devices can store as much as 1GB of data, compared with the hard drive's typical ability to hold more than 100GB. For that reason, SSDs come with a higher "cost-per-MB" price tag. But that price difference is getting smaller. There's no denying that SSDs are convenient, reliable, compact, and fast.

Here are a couple of recent videos about solid-state storage technology.

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