More on Solid State Drives

If you work in IT, hopefully by now you’ve either bought a PC/laptop with an SSD hard drive or you have upgraded your existing workstation. If you haven’t, stop reading this, and go do that immediately!!

“Why?”, you ask. In short, it will make your computer feel MANY times faster. It is a huge difference. No matter your computers configuration, if you have a mechanical hard drive, then an SSD will make it feel super fast!

“What’s the downside?”, you ask. Price and longevity, right? Well, price maybe – but not so much anymore. For example:

Samsung Series 840 – 120GB – $97 on Amazon
Intel 330 Series – 120GB – $169 on Amazon

Why is Intel so much more? Well, you are paying for the fancy brand name, but they also have a 5-year warrantee too.

Which leads me to longevity. You may have heard that when SSD drives fail, they don’t fail like mechanical drives. With mechanical drives, you might hear a whirring sound, you might start hearing clicking, you might see the system slow or disk errors. You often have days to perhaps weeks to replace the drive before you lose the whole thing.

With an SSD, supposedly, it just fails – suddenly, utterly, and completely. I’ve never had one fail yet so I can’t say definitively.

“That sounds horrible!”, you say. Well yes, but consider that with at least Samsung and Intel, they are now build to last 5-10 years. Keep that in mind with how often you buy a new PC. Do you go more than FIVE years without buying a new PC, as an IT professional? Really??

So, for all intents and purposes, these drives will simply always work and will work for the lifetime of that PC. But if you are still not convinced, both Intel and Samsung have very powerful tools for managing your drive.

In my case, I have two SSD’s for my main workstation. One is my system drive, and the other I have to hold the “hard drives” of several VM’s that I host from my workstation. That way, my virtual machines are also technically running on SSD’s. I have one Samsung and one Intel. This is what the tools look like for each:

image

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As you can see, if you are paranoid about the drive failing, you can periodically go check the health and even update the firmware for the drive. You can also run optimizations on the drive to keep it in good running order (similar to what defragmenting did for mechanical drives).

Now, I continue to recommend you keep everything on your cloud drive (see Securely Managing your data with TrueCrypt + cloud drives). When you do that, it becomes pretty inconsequential if you do lose a drive.

I just re-installed Windows 8 and was pleasantly surprised how easy, fast, and painless it was. So, if you’ve been getting frustrated with how slow your PC is – do yourself a favor and go get a Solid State Drive for it!

Posted in Computers and Internet, Infrastructure, New Technology, Uncategorized

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