As the cost of NAND flash memory technology falls, many more consumers and professionals are considering investing in a solid state drive as the sole solution to their data storage needs. Because these devices lack the internal rotating discs and magnetic platters of traditional hard disk drive solutions, SSD drives feature far fewer bottlenecks that can throttle a system's performance. In addition, the lack of moving parts means consumers do not have to worry as much about physical damage that can lead to catastrophic data loss.
Market prognosticators are beginning to predict that SSD technology will become an increasingly major force in the data storage industry. A recent report published by market research firm IHS iSuppli stated that worldwide shipments of SSD drives will increase by more than 600 percent between now and 2017. By that time, SSD's predicted 227 million shipped units will account for more than one-third of the PC storage solutoins market.
However, consumers should take some factors into consideration before making the jump to SSD. For instance, although the NAND flash memory technology that SSD drives operate on has come down in cost, they are still fairly expensive compared to hard disk solutions. For professionals – those who utilize resource-intensive applications on a daily basis – the increased performance may be worth the additional cost. However, the average consumer may not recognize those benefits as readily with their comparitively light workload.
A lack of hardware failure warning signs
In addition, like any other electronic device, there will always be the possibility of hardware failure with data storage drives. Traditional devices usually precede their full-system failures with a series of foreboding errors. The observant user may recognize these issues as signs of impending failure and take action to backup their data or find an alternative storage solution. According to PCWorld contributing editor Rick Broida, SSD drives may be less likely to provide these digital harbingers prior to a complete operational shutdown.
"But for the most part, a dead SSD is a dead SSD," Broida stated. "If you've ever had a flash drive go bad on you, you get the idea. It's not just corrupted data, which is often recoverable; it's simply a hardware failure. And unless you're willing to pay for a professional data-recovery service like DriveSavers, you're outta luck."
Regardless of what data storage solution consumers choose to use, they should have data archiving solutions in place to back up unique and irreplaceable files such as family videos and photos. A disc-based application such as DIGISTOR's REWIND tool can serve as a sturdy backup plan in the event that primary storage devices go down. Because REWIND utilizes blu-ray burners and media discs, users do not have to worry about a hardware failure causing them to lose their precious data files forever.