Future of SSDs

When magnetic hard drives arrived in the market scene, people gradually ditched the conventional ways of data storage like 3 ¼ floppy disks. This meant that computer users were now in a better position to store more data on a permanent drive. But this meant that with more data storage, there was more to lose if something went wrong. To solve this dilemma, the solid state drive (SSD) was introduced. Since the late 80s, SSDs have been slowly integrated into computer memory as they enhance performance.

As the popular saying goes, the only constant thing in life is change, and now everyone is so keen on the future of the SSDs. There are concerns about the performance of SSDs, and manufacturers and users of these memory drives worry that maybe in the near future they may no longer be in use. For starters, unlike the HDD, the solid state drives use solid-state memory to store data. The device has now been in the hardware business for quite a while. Its applications range across many modern computer devices like servers, smart-phones and tablets but most people may be more familiar with the USB power flash drive form. InsideHDDSSD

While everything in the technology world is always being vamped up, the same is happening to the SSDs. Nevertheless, the slow pace of change in flash manufacturing industry, if anything, is an indication of having to bear with these memory chips a while longer. The adoption of these memory drives will at least continue to grow for the more than ten years before we see another memory technology. This is because as the NAND flash becomes faster and cheaper, the SSDs are providing more flexibility in usage as RAM or hard-drive alternative.

The future of SSDs is even almost certain. And while the seemly emerging memory drives under development like the Phase-change memory and the Resistive Random-access memory promise faster speed and more durability, they are many years away until they can be manufactured in volumes and priced competitively to replace the NAND flash storage. Otherwise, SSDs built on flash memory have now become almost permanent alternatives to spinning hard drives, which have basically reached their speed limit. Thus, mobile devices have shifted to flash drives. Similarly, a large number of thin as well as light ultrabooks have switched to SSDs because they are faster and more power efficient.

Soon the SSDs are expected to move into the enterprise market which still heavily relies on spinning disks, these memory drives are also poised to take over the hard disks in the server infrastructure. The SSDs would be perfect for these applications because the technology consumes less energy and is more reliable. Application of small size SSDs in servers could also mean more storage in fewer servers thus cutting licensing costs.

Just recently, Google put up persistent high-IOS SSDs into open beta for the compute engine users. This means that Google cloud users can access solid state disks for workloads which essentially provides a faster I/O and less redundancy compared to traditional magnetic media. This of course comes in handy for databases and analytics. Therefore, with this kind of integration, it’s highly likely that the future of SSDs is bright until a better, readily available and cheap drive comes along.

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