Pop quiz! How old is hard drive technology? Did it take off in the ‘80s? How about 1970s? 1960s, even? Try 1956. Nearing its 60th birthday, today’s hard drive is far flung from its original form factor. Originally the size of two refrigerators with a max storage of 3.75MB, the hard drive has changed a lot in the last six decades – sometimes by leaps and bounds. Take solid state – or flash – storage as an example of advancement.
What Is Flash?
Have you ever seen the inside of a hard drive? Imagine the opposite of that. No moving parts to power. Almost no generated heat. Zero noise. Significantly accelerated file access and OS booting. And all of this in a device that fits in the palm of your hand and is half as thick as a deck of cards. This is the face of the future of storage.
Picture, if you will, a common thumb drive on a mass scale. Small, light, fast, and able to store everything you need – but from INSIDE of your desktop, notebook, and server. Your mobile phone uses flash. Your tablet, MP3 player – they all use flash. And you should be too.
As I mentioned above, there’s a number of reasons to consider flash. Lower heat and its solid-state status – e.g. no moving parts – means it will use a lot less power. That could be a considerable savings per storage array alone. Also, because of its architecture, it’s worlds above a standard hard drive in terms of speed. In a notebook, upgrading to flash gives you more battery life. In a desktop, it increases productivity. In a server, it speeds access, and a host of other items.
Hybrid: The Best of Both Worlds
Another new type of technology has recently broken onto the scene: Hybrid Hard Drives. Just as it sounds, hybrid incorporates a classic setup with a modern touch. The spinning disks retain a large portion of your data while built-in flash keeps your commonly accessed system files, documents – you name it. It’s not as fast as all-flash storage, but it’s perfect for those not quite ready to make the transition.
Is Flash Right For You?
One of the best IT decisions a business can make is switching to SSDs in the data center. You’ll immediately see a lower utility costs while obtaining faster speeds. And with their low heat, that means less cooling – and that’s a huge step forward for any data center. On the user level, flash storage is great for notebooks whose data needs an extra layer of protection (from drops) and security – when purchasing a drive with integrated AES encryption. Desktop users will see an aforementioned increase in file-access speed, application start up, and boot time. And that’s always worth its weight in gold.
If all of this is something of interest, then yes, flash is for you. Want more information? Watch this video for more insight on what my fellow co-workers and I have to say on flash. Or, for a more in-depth conversation, you can always call. We offer no-obligation assessments that help discover the right path for your storage infrastructure.