What to Do When Solid State Drives [SSDs] Fail?

Solid State Drives [SSDs] Vs. Hard Disk Drives [HDDs]

If you are wondering what it is — a solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive. SSDs are expected to offer higher performance than normal hard-disk drives and are considered to be durable since they have no moving parts.

Yes, solid-state is used primarily to distinguish memory devices with no moving parts [SSDs] from conventional spinning disk drives [HDDs]. The big difference is that only movement in a solid-state drive is the movement of electrons. And SSDs use the same interface as hard disk drives, thus easily replacing them in most applications.

Reliability, Security and Failure Rate of Solid State Drives

All sound exciting and SSDs seem like the prefect replacement of HDDs, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we wish if that was true. No device is perfect and Solid State Drives [SSDs] fail a lot. For instance, one weakness of the solid-state drive is the vulnerability of transistors to wearing out.

They can take only so many fillings and emptying of electrons (read and writes). And since you are using your SSD for various applications (for example operating system, database applications etc), reads and writes can add up quickly.

Though Solid-state drives can have compensating wear leveling mechanisms, but one bad bit can be sufficient to render the entire drive unreadable.

To make matters scarier, data storage drive failure rates are much higher than makers estimate. And in fact, customers replace disk and state drives 15 times more often than drive vendors estimate, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University.

Furthermore, recent studies conducted by faculty at the University of California at San Diego concluded that solid state drives are more difficult to securely erase than traditional hard disk drives. This is due to the some key differences between how the hardware reads/writes to the solid-state drive and how it’s handled by an HDD.

How to Safeguard Your Data When Your SSD Fails?

Regardless of whether you use SSDs for storing your personal data or use them for sensitive corporate information, it will be a nightmare when the drives fail — thus taking down your data with them when they go down! To avoid such catastrophes, online cloud backup and  recovery services can come in handy.

Cloud backup helps you back up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. The server is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the backup customer a fee based on capacity, bandwidth or number of users. In the enterprise, the off-site server might be proprietary, but the chargeback method would be similar.

And thus these third-party cloud backups have gained popularity with small offices and home users because of their convenience and if you are using SSDs and worried about a possible drive failure (and data loss) this is an data loss prevention option that is worth exploring.

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