Why You Should Use SSDs in Your Server Solution

SSDs (Solid-state drives) are storage drives with no moving parts, unlike HDDs (hard disk drives), which have a spinning disk. SSDs can provide a range of advantages over traditional HDDs. However, you should consider your server’s purpose before deciding whether you should go with SSDs or HDDs.

The Advantages of SSDs

Speed: SSDs are 5-20 times faster than HDDs. An average SSD can read data at 500-700 MB/s, with M.2 NVMe SSD drives reading data up to 7,000 MB/s. Similarly, the average write speed for SSDs is 500-600 MB/s, with NVMe drives as fast as 5,300 MB/s. For comparison, HDDs have an average read/write speed of 80-230 MB/s.

As well as read and write speeds, the time needed to access data averages just 0.1ms with an SSD compared to 5.5-8.0ms with an HDD. SSDs can provide 6000 input/output operations per second compared to just 400 with an HDD. This means that data access and transfer take less time to get started, improving responsiveness and decreasing the time it takes to start the server.

Reliability/Lifespan: Because SSDs have no moving parts, they are much more reliable than HDDs, with an average lifespan of 10 years, while HDDs average just 3-5 years. SSDs are much less likely to fail from knocks or power cuts.

Power usage: An average HDD uses 10W of power and 1W when idle, an SSD requires just 5W, and only 40mW when idle.

Smaller: SSD drives are smaller (2.5") than standard HDDs (3.5"). M.2 NVMe drives are even smaller, similar to a stick of chewing gum. This can decrease the space required, especially if you consider multiple drives in a RAID array.

Cooler: As SSDs don't contain moving parts, they remain much cooler than HDDs; this reduces the need for cooling. Cooling uses as much as 35-50% of the total energy usage required to run servers, providing additional savings to running costs.

When You Shouldn't Use SSDs Over HDDs

SSDs are great, they have so many advantages over traditional HDDs, but they may not be the perfect solution every time. SSDs are a newer technology, and while prices continue to drop, they are still more expensive than SSDs per GB. HDDs may be the better option for servers that don't require high performance but instead require high storage space. Both types of drives can be used in RAID arrays to provide added security from failure, with data backed up if any drive fails. RAID also allows several drives to run together, speeding up overall data access and closing the performance gap. You may also consider a combined storage approach with SSDs and HDDs in combination to get the best of both worlds.

The best solution for your server needs depends on several factors. Choosing SSDs, HDDs and RAID arrays can be confusing and shouldn't be taken lightly. Contact MGI Inc today, and we can provide you with all the server solution answers you require. Call us at (608) 571-0309 or email us at info@mgi-inc.com.