Coming off of last week’s post about SAS vs. SATA myths, let’s now shift gears to review an old myth about SSDs vs. HDDs. Of course Seagate makes both, so we’re especially interested in understanding and demystifying how the divergent features of SSDs and HDDs fit best into the applications they’re designed for.
A few years ago when SSDs began getting more attention in the marketplace, the chatter spreading around the industry was that the impending doom of HDDs was near and SSDs were going to take over the world. Well, that didn’t happen, but it nevertheless fueled many other myths, some of which still linger today.
Arguably one of the most significant SSD myths is simply the fact that SSDs are by nature more reliable than HDDs because they have no physical moving parts. The argument itself certainly appears logical. And over the past several years, with so many new SSD makers coming up, and without any significant field data released about reliability, the truth of the matter is that it was, and remains, anyone’s guess as to how SSD reliability would play out.
What didn’t help further is that during those same previous years, there were no existing standards for SSD reliability or endurance. In other words, no SSD maker could be held accountable for its endurance and reliability claims since there was no defined standard of measurement. Fortunately that is beginning to change and we’ve reported previously about the implementation of the JEDEC standards.
So now that it’s been a few years, and SSDs have spent time in the field, Tom’s Hardware wanted to get to the heart of the matter. They recently posted a story, “Investigation: Is your SSD more reliable than a hard drive?” The story includes data from numerous makers, research centers, and engineers as well as interviews from leading experts in the field. The results of their study? Among many conclusions and interesting findings, the belief and myth that SSDs are definitely more reliable than HDDs is NOT one of them.
And that may certainly send shock waves out to some people out there who have always assumed otherwise.
There is no doubt that SSD reliability will improve over time, and of course Seagate itself is storage agnostic by serving both the HDD and SSD markets. But if anything else, the story at Tom’s Hardware is a good cautionary piece that ultimately serves as a warning to be careful of buying into hype.