What is the durability of Solid-State Drive

What is the durability of Solid-State Drive?

We are currently using solid-state drives or SSDs for computer storage. Hard disks and solid-state drives both works the same on computers. And that is to store our information. But now SSD is being used more than HDD. But why? This is because solid-state drives can work several times faster than hard disks. But many people question whether SSD is as long-lasting as a hard disk?

However, a solid-state drive is not new in the market! We have been seeing SSDs alongside HDDs in the market for several years now and there have been many upgrades to SSDs in the last few years. It should not be assumed that solid-state drives are not tech at all. Why? Today I have come to talk about that.

But one thing to keep in mind; Harddisks are still more durable than solid-state depending on the age of use. This means that even after 5 years of continuous use of a hard disk, you will not find any issues in terms of speed and durability, but on the other hand, after a year of use on the SSD, you will have to face various issues.

Before going into details about the durability of solid-state drives, you should know about some of the technical terms of SSD. These are:

MLC and SLC

Two types of solid-state drives are available in the market. Solid states with MLC or Multi-Level Cell memory tend to be relatively inexpensive and their speed is also a bit slow. This MLC style solid straight drives are mostly sold in the market at the consumer level. SLC or Single-Level Cell memory style solid-state drives, on the other hand, are relatively faster than MLCs and are technically more durable. But SLC style solid-state drives are sold in the market at the enterprise level.

Memory Block

A specific portion of the physical memory of a flash drive is called a memory block. You cannot enter a “Bad Block” section, which means you cannot store any type of data there. As this bad block or bad sector increases, the total storage capacity of your flash drive will gradually decrease and different types of read and write errors will occur in files and software.

TBW

TBW is a short form of Terabytes Written. The amount of data that is written and re-written in the lifetime of a flash drive is called TBW, note that the amount is captured in terabytes.

After looking at the technical terms of Solid State Drive, let’s move on to the basics.

The durability of solid-state drives

Manufacturers of solid-state drives rate the stability of an SSD based on three factors. These are the number of total terabytes used in a standard lifetime, the number of total terabytes used in a standard lifetime and the number of data usage in the drive at certain times (such as one day). In these three cases, the result must be different. And based on the results of these three, SSD manufacturers give ratings on the stability of a solid-state drive.

Although it is almost impossible to estimate the exact lifetime of an SSD, you can rely on all these ratings given by the manufacturer.

Various studies have been conducted on the lifetime of SSD in recent times. Below are the results of three notable studies:

1) A joint venture between Google and the University of Toronto conducted a study on the failure of flash drives in data servers. The results of this 4-year study show that data retention errors in solid-state drives are more affected by age than daily data usage on an SSD. This means that the age of your SSD will be more responsible for the data retention error than the amount of data you copy, paste or input/output to your SSD every day. To put it more simply, “You get more data errors on older SSD drives.”

The study was conducted at Google’s data centre. There is a very fast data transfer system and high-stress system for the drives. The study also found that SSD drives had to be replaced only once every 4 years, while hard disks usually had to be replaced every year. And there are more bad blocks on SSD than hard disk.

Appendix: This study demonstrates that an SSD will be more durable than a normal hard disk in high-stress and fast-read environments. However, SSDs have significantly more Bad Block than HDDs.

2) Tech Report’s conducted a study on the stability of SSD on data usage. They conducted research on 1000 terabytes (1 petabyte) of data writing on six SSD brands. Their study found that of the six brands, only Samsung, Kingston and Corsair’s high-end drives were in “working” condition after 1 Petabyte writing test. Other drives were lost between 800 and 900 TBW. Two of the driven drives were from Samsung and Intel, and these drives were built to the MLC standard.

Appendix: This study has shown that SSDs with more storage are more durable for data usage than SSDs with less storage. A 250 GB MLC standard Samsung solid-state drive was lost in the study at 900 TBW, while a 1 terabyte solid-state drive of the same brand SLC standard was lost in the 3.6 Petabytes writing.

3) Facebook has conducted an internal study on the stability of SSD in their corporate data centre. Studies have shown that whatever the SSD rating is; The environment in which the drive is used affects the stability of the drive. For example, if you use an SSD in a hot or humid environment, the durability of a solid-state drive will gradually decrease due to overheating or overheating. This means that SSDs are more durable in relatively cold environments. Also, like Google’s research, it can be seen that the effect of an excessive amount of data write and read falls directly on the stability of a solid-state drive.

So what is understood?

So what can be said in the end? If you analyze the results of the above three studies, it can be seen that your newly purchased SSD can be used peacefully for only 1 or 2 years! But there is nothing to fear. Because these studies have been run to enterprise standards. The results of these studies will be different for ordinary people like us or consumer standards.

Ordinary users like you or me will need to use a computer that has been running for more than a decade to get 1 petabyte of writing data! What did you say brother! 1 petabyte means 1000 terabytes! Even those who are professional gamers or power users or heavy users will not be able to reach this maximum data usage level within the warranty time of an SSD! The warranty period of an SSD is 2 to 3 years. Now in 3 years, you can use 1 petabyte of data on the solid straight drive?

No matter what I say, SSD or solid-state drive is also an electronic thing. And like any other electronic item, SSD can be damaged at any time. However, if you use it properly, you will have the opportunity to use a good quality SSD quite well. But it is better to use the opportunity honestly; So if possible, back up your important data to an HDD (hard disk) and, if possible, to regular cloud storage.

Avatar of Estiuck Al Regun

Verified   October 5, 2021   Tips and Tricks

Estiuck Al Regun is an entrepreneur, SOC analyst, artist, and podcaster. He is the Founder & CEO of DataXpie. With awards of more than 15 as of June 2021, he is the leading entrepreneur of Bangladesh according to the World Confederation of Busine...

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