Tuesday, May 03, 2011

solid state drive failure

I have been a fan of solid state drive's but am now concerned about solid state drive failure from an article on the coding horror blog.

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive. SSDs are distinguished from traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), which are electromechanical devices containing spinning disks and movable read/write heads. SSDs, in contrast, use microchips which retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. Compared to electromechanical HDDs, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, silent, and have lower access time and latency. SSDs use the same interface as hard disk drives, thus easily replacing them in most applications.

Normal failure rates for Hardrives is around one third of hard drives fail within the first five years

But for solid state drive failure the rate is much higher based on personal experience

Below is experience of Portman Wills who purchased 9 SSD drives in 2009 and they have all failed

Below is his experiences with Solid state drives

  • Super Talent 32 GB SSD, failed after 137 days
  • OCZ Vertex 1 250 GB SSD, failed after 512 days
  • G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 251 days
  • G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 276 days
  • Crucial 64 GB SSD, failed after 350 days
  • OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD, failed after 72 days
  • Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 15 days
  • Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 206 days

As the benefits of SSD are just much the key is having good backups. So when purchasing an Solid State Drive expect it to fail within two years.

What is amazing in researching this post is how the old drives where able to last so long due type of movements that are needed for reading and writing to disk. Below is an example of an HD with moving parts.

Solid state drive's is still a new technology and I am sure the failure rate will get better with new versions. I am interested how this affects the smartphones as haven't heard to much about their failure rates.


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