Growing a business takes more than having the right employees. You also need the right hardware, especially when it comes to storage. The type of storage you use on your business’ computers affects their performance, usage, and reliability.
There are two basic options for storage; the hard disk drive (HDD) and the solid-state drive (SSD). Both storage options perform differently and are each suited for specif purposes. So, which is the best storage option for your business? I’ll get to that in a few, but first,
HDDs have been around for a long time. In fact, they were the first form of mass storage devices to be invented. A typical HDD has several spinning disks where data is stored magnetically. Inside the HDD, there is an arm with several transducers that read and store data on the spinning disks.
HDDs are generally cheaper than SSDs and are more suitable for storing data that doesn’t need to be accessed regularly, such as business files, photos, and videos. They come in two common sizes; 3.5-inches (commonly used in desktop computers) and 2.5-inches (for laptops).
As their name suggests, SSDs are solid devices with no moving parts. Instead of spinning disks, they use integrated circuits to store data. Without the need for a spinning disk, SSDs are generally smaller than their counterparts. Also, the mere fact that they use flash memory enables them to deliver superior performance and durability.
SSDs reduce startup time dramatically since you don’t have to wait for the platter rotation to start up. They are also more expensive than HDDs, but the gap is narrowing slowly as SSD prices reduce faster than their counterparts.
One of the most endearing qualities of SSDs is their remarkable speed. Unlike HDDs, they use electrical circuitry and have no movable parts. The resulting effect is shorter wait times on startup and fewer delays when doing heavy computing tasks and opening apps.
Everyone loves a fast computer, but sometimes the slower option (HDD) makes sense. Say, for example, you have terabytes of data you need to store. A hard disk can provide you with a less-expensive option.
That being said, choosing the best among the two all comes down to the nature of your business. If you have tons of files you need to store, but don’t use them every day, then a hard drive might be the best option. But, if your business runs real-time transactions and needs fast access to a file database, then an SSD is the more logical option.
SSDs have no movable parts; as such, they are more likely to keep your data safe when you drop your computer, or your system gets shaken while in operation. Most HDDs pack their read/write heads when the system is off. But, if a sudden, substantial force impacts them while in operation, the read/write heads fly over the drive platter. This can result in the loss of data. So, if your employees are a bit clumsy or you own a mobile business, then an SSD is the preferable option.
Regardless of its efficiency, even the quietest HDD will make a bit of noise when in use. As the drive platters spin and the read/write arm rocks back and forth, it’s bound to produce some noise; even more so with faster HDDs. SSDs, on the other hand, are non-mechanical and hence, make no noise.
SSDs have the most efficient in terms of power. Unlike their mechanical counterparts, SSDs don’t lose any power to friction. On a desktop server, this equates to a lower energy bill. In laptops, you get more battery life.
The issue of durability breeds a little controversy. Although SSDs outpace HDDs in almost all scenarios, they are not immune to age-related (or should I say use-related) breakdowns. The flash memory bank in SSDs can only be written and erased a certain number of times. In time, you start running into read/write errors. Likewise, HDDs also wear out from continuous use. And since they use physical recording methods, ruggedness can also play a part in their inevitable wear.
Most consumer SSDs only go up to 2TB, and they are really expensive. In fact, you’re more likely to find 500GB and 1TB units in most systems. Moreover, pricing concerns among manufacturers are pushing that even lower to 128GB and 256GB units for lower-based systems.
Users with large file and media collections such as those found in businesses require systems with 1TB to 8TB units. Although cloud storage is a good alternative, local storage is cheaper and faster to retrieve. The current highest HDD units go up to 30.72TB, while the highest SSD goes up to 20 TB. So, it’s safe to say the SSDs win this round too.
SSDs are generally more expensive than HDDs in terms of dollar-per-gigabyte. You can expect to part with between $40 and $60 for a 1TB internal 2.5-inch HDD, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper into your pockets for a similarly-sized SSD as they go for about $100. When you think about it, you’re actually paying double for a hard drive with the same storage capacity. This price translates to 4 to 6 cents per gigabyte in HDDs, compared to 10 cents per gigabyte for SSDs.
When it comes to storage capacity, SSDs come on top. But, considering cost per capacity, HDDs take the win. As the SSD prices drop, this will become a non-factor. But before that happens, you still have to consider how much work you can get done on each storage device efficiently. In this regard, SSDs seem to be the best option since they are more reliable, durable, and consume less power than their counterparts.
Choosing the best storage option for your business’ systems all comes down to your individual business needs. At Techsperts LLC, we offer IT solutions to businesses all over New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our services or for IT services.