What is is an SSD?

When we think about the internet – and computers in general – we always make the association with data. Where does the data come from? Also, musn’t it be stored somewhere?  All data must be recorded and kept in a location ready for when a user requests it, in terms of the internet there are many ways to store this data in a non-physical manner (e.g cloud storage). Eventually when you trace back these methods of storage you are left with an overall physical drive that stores all of the information for a given server. 

Throughout the development of computers this physical drive has undergone many upgrades and technicological advances to become more adept at holding onto an increasing amount of information in a more effective way. For many years computers used HDD (Hard Disk Drive) to store information. This relied on a physical process to take non physical data and store it to a physical device (hard drive), this is an extremely effective method of storing data and was left unchanged for many years. Drawbacks became apparent in the form of wear and tear to the hard drive (data is stored within a HDD by a magnetic process) over time due to use, an unavoidable consequence of any physical process! Storage was considered very good within HDD devices and  was perfectly sufficient for what space was needed for storage at the time. In more recent years a new approach to storing data was sought that solved the physical wear and tear issues incurred by HDD devices and also had an increased capacity to store data…..enter SSD.

SSD (Solid State Drive) relies on a substrate made up of microchips (usually made out of silicon) where the data is written into for storage. The method by which SSD works is referred to as ‘non-volatile’ i.e. there are no moving parts and the process which SSD uses doesn’t rely on a change in electrical charge to precipitate the saving of the data (HDD on the other hand could be said to be a volatile process as there has to be a change in the electrical charge to bring about the magnetic forces required to save the data to the hard drive). As there is no movement in the device there is no risk of the device physically wearing out.

The technology used within an SSD device allows for data to be read and written at a much quicker speed (SSD reads/writes around x4 quicker than HDD) than with older devices and SSD is becoming much more commonplace as a feature added to newer devices (new PC’s/laptops). Another big advantage is the amount of data that can be stored within a single device, this becomes hugely beneficial when it comes to service providers who sell server space commercially online. Their servers can hold huge volumes of data which offers the providers the chance to build an extremely profitable business (with added long term reliability) off the back of such storage capacity.  Online data being read from a SSD device – a website for instance – will be read around 30% faster from an SSD device than a HDD device. This is a considerable jump up in speed which could hugely effect the profitability of a web site (online stores, websites that require regular updates of real time information – see our article ‘How site speeds impact sales‘ for more information).

Here at Peters Web all of our servers use 100% SSD sourced information providing you with the most up to date server technology.

Please contact us should you require any other information surrounding this subject. You can contact us by placing a support ticket (open a ticket) with our hosting department, we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

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