SSD vs. HDD: From Server Hosting Standpoint

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SSD vs. HDD: From Server Hosting Standpoint

Most of us are aware of what Solid-state drives are, and what differences they are capable of pulling out for your machine. While these drives outshine its spinning rival – the Hard disk drive – in almost every sense, it still could be too early to completely trash out our rotating disk drives. Unlike most other blogs that compare these two drives as standalone hardware, we will compare their deployment with dedicated server hosting.

Server performance

Server performance is synonymous to speed. Higher speed translates to a high-performance server; a lower speed to an inferior, low-end server.

It’s a no brainer that due to its moving parts, hard drives can only spin just so fast before it fails. Extremely high rotating speeds are also practically unachievable, and even if we could reach this pinnacle, the hard drive would start sounding like an engine, violently vibrating the entire server and eventually breaking it.

SSDs are quieter in the sense that there are no moving parts. Also, there is no limit to how fast data can be accessed in and out of an SSD. Websites that need to load promptly have to inevitably rely on solid drives, provided they are able to bear the installation cost.

Reliability

With a spinning drive, failure remains an ever-looming possibility. However, since these storage drives have been in the market for some time now, it has had adequate Research & Development (R&D), and the manufacturers have been able to bring down the failure-risks by deploying certain measures. Nevertheless, the associated failure risks have not been completely eliminated.

With solid drives, failures are less likely as there are no mechanical parts involved. Though, as time passes by, these disks eventually wear out, become less efficient, and the performance no more stays as it was once. However, solid disks are still touted for having a longer lifespan than hard disks.

From a hosting standpoint, a reliable disk is a vital organ of a server. Websites hosted on robust servers are less likely to undergo downtime, crash, and outage, and garner more traffic. This is evident from the fact that most banking, railways websites have switched to solid-state drives, reserving the older hard drives for less important operations.

Recovery

Many fail to consider, despite so many upsides, why the server market still abounds in HDDs?

Well. Failure is inevitable when it comes to technology – however reliable it might be. Hard drives are much easier to recover than solid disks, predominantly on account of the time for which they have dictated the market that has allowed technicians to improve their recovery-methods. At present, there exist countless tools to help restore data from magnetic tapes inside a hard disk in case of a crash.

A solid-state drive is less prone to failure than a hard drive. Still, crashes and data corruption on account of a controller failure or electrical damage can render an SSD useless. Being a nascent technology, recovery from solid drive is currently expensive and complicated to carry out; and to add icing to the cake, data may not be as efficiently recovered as in an HDD.

Pre-failure indications

Before a hard drive dies out, it exhibits obvious and comprehensive signs of its fatigue. Spinning disks at the verge of failure make abnormal noises, constantly crash the system, take loads of time to boot files up, etc.

These failure-signs buy the administrator ample time to back up data to a new disk and avoid rude awakening at a later stage.

A solid-state drive, on the other hand, does not exhibit a single sign that it is closing its death. It just doesn’t boot up, leaving webmasters hardly any time to back up and keep their websites running.

Cost-effectiveness

SSDs are expensive, but not overly so. While building a system with speed and portability in mind, SSDs are the best solution out there if the cost is not much of a constraint for you.

Naturally, you will shell out more money upfront for a solid-state drive than for a hard drive. But the move may seem justifiable at one point, especially while setting up a dedicated server hosting where funds are not as much of an issue as performance is.

Moreover, though a hard disk will cost you meagre when compared to its solid counterpart, timely maintenance charges eventually bring down the cost for both (HDD & SSD) to comparable charts.

Hosting standpoint

When looking for performance and reliability, setting up an SSD seems justifiable. However, when capital comes as a make-or-break factor, a few points are to be considered to carve a niche out of your hosting:

  1. Whether you want an uncompromised performance or uncompromised price?
  2. Will reliability and security be an issue with your website?

Even if ‘Yes’, a hard drive will do just fine. However, if you want to leverage more from your server, a Solid-state drive will come inevitably to you.

  1. Working conditions of the storage drive and the amount of money you are willing to shell.

Some servers are subjected to extreme weather conditions and at the top of it, required to run 24 hours and run efficiently. The moving platters and the mechanical arms of a hard drive may not always perform so proficiently as desired, in turn, faltering operations.

Upshot

While you can settle yourself from the numerous options, your choice must be based on which storage caters to your needs better.