Whether you're looking to invest in new storage hardware for your own MSP or your customers, it helps to understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of SSDs and HDDs. While the right option will vary depending on several variables such as your budget, the nature of the work you do, and how much wear and tear you expect to put on your drives, both can be viable options for companies in a wide range of industries.
For instance, HDDs might not be cutting-edge technology, but they have their benefits. They've been around for decades, meaning tech professionals are very familiar with how they work. By contrast, experts are still learning how SSDs function in the long term. Additionally, HDDs are more affordable than SSDs and tend to offer larger amounts of storage per model. These benefits mean that HDDs are cost-effective and generally a viable option for many businesses.
However, HDDs also come with their own drawbacks. Because they depend on physical moving parts, they're susceptible to damage and malfunction in ways SSDs aren't. Dropping a device with an HDD can cause any number of these parts to break, rendering the drive inoperable—and making any information stored on the HDD especially difficult to retrieve. Finally, HDDs are larger and use more energy as compared to SSDs. This presents design challenges, especially with mobile devices such as laptops.
Conversely, SSDs offer their own unique set of considerations for businesses. SSDs have lots of benefits—for starters, SSDs tend to deliver faster performance because of the way they process, store, and access data. This can be especially useful when it comes to complex business applications that may otherwise take a longer time to load. Beyond that, SSDs weigh less, aren't as energy-intensive as HDDs, and are more durable because they lack the fragile moving parts associated with HDDs.
While SSDs do come with potential disadvantages, manufacturers are working to improve the technology. As discussed earlier, once SSDs are full, they can only write new information by erasing older information. Over time, this creates wear and tear on flash cells and ultimately renders them unusable. However, many SSDs are beginning to use wear-leveling algorithms to ensure space is being used as effectively as possible.
In short, the respective lifespan of SSDs and HDDs will change depending on how you use them. While HDDs may nominally offer more storage space than most SSD models, they're more fragile because of their moving parts and are susceptible to damage. On the other hand, each P/E cycle degrades the SSDs, meaning there is a definite point when the SSD will no longer work.
If you're looking for new storage solutions, make sure you're equipped with the information you need to make the right decision.