Are All Hard Drives Created Equal?

Get the Scoop on Flash vs. Traditional Drives

Andy Meehan

We rely on both flash and traditional hard drives to do the same jobs – store data and applications, boot and run your systems – but each type also has its own specific benefits. If you’re looking to upgrade any part of your storage infrastructure, you might be looking into flash drives since that’s the latest technology available. But when should you stick with the traditional, and when should you turn to flash? Read on to discover more about the benefits of each – and what a combination of the two could do for your organization.

The traditional hard drive consists, in part, of a spinning disk, and it boasts capacities from hundreds of gigabytes to several terabytes. Flash drives, by comparison, have no spinning parts, so they can provide very fast access to data, but their capacities tend to be lower. Now you may think that because flash drives are faster and provide higher performance than traditional drives that it would make sense to upgrade to all flash. Who wants to wait for their system to catch up to their work pace, right?

Unfortunately, right now, flash is usually priced higher than traditional drives – and it still can’t provide the terabytes of storage that standard hard drives can. What many organizations are investing in now is a hybrid array: a combination of flash and traditional drives that will provide high performance and high capacity, and still keep costs down. That way, you can assign certain workloads to certain parts of the array: the applications that require high performance, the data you need to access at any time – that can go on flash, while the heavy data can live in traditional drives. Standard hard drives are great for virtualization and data warehousing.

To find out about the benefits of flash vs. traditional storage, you can check out this episode of the Connection Point podcast, featuring yours truly.

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