Storage options have been getting much more competitive. Yes, we’re talking speed and money. Your storage options are solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs) — both of which are very different and can benefit your company in unrelated ways. Decide which benefits your company most. If we compare the two storage technologies on cost per gigabyte, SSDs run $0.70 to $1 per gigabyte. Comparatively, hard drives cost only a few cents per gigabyte.
So, how to know which drive is best for your business? High performance is great, but perhaps you shouldn’t pay for high performance if your business doesn’t really need that quick access.
The Right Storage for Your Business
HDDs may be best for users who need large amounts of storage and aren’t necessarily looking for peak performance. If you’re serving users who limit their usage to Web browsing, email access and simple document editing, then hard drives will probably work for you. The hard drive has speeds of about 200MB per second and can access data in a few milliseconds.
If your company relies on fast access applications, SSDs may be your best option. SSDs also do not have moving parts, so they are more durable and reliable. Early adopters that found speed and reliability indispensable to their business model include Facebook, Apple, and Salesforce.com.
Managing Storage Volumes
SSDs don’t have the capacity traditional hard drives have. The typical SSD has a capacity of 120GB to 256GB. Larger enterprises may opt for 512GB to 1TB.
When to Consider Hybrid Storage
If you’re not ready to commit to one storage technology and your business has varied needs, hybrid storage may be the answer for you. Your first consideration with hybrid storage is budget. Can you afford to pair the more expensive SSD with a high-capacity hard drive? If you have the budget, you’ll be combining SSD speeds with hard drive capacity on one drive.
You can place your operating system in the SSD, along with frequently used applications, while relegating bulk file storage to your hard drive.
You don’t always have to store your data on in-house file servers, though. You can access fast bulk file storage in the cloud, where you don’t have to worry about replacing failed drives or backing up your data. Your storage capacity expands as you need it and you only pay for the storage you use, saving your business quite a bit of money.
If you decide to go with hybrid storage, you’ll see improved boot times and greater capacity, but keep in mind it may be a complicated process that not all PC users will like. Additionally, hybrid storage tends to underperform when it comes to new data. The software must learn which data to cache, so, initially, you may experience a slow period and the system has the potential to be more complicated to configure.
To avoid the learning to cache phase, some storage experts link the SSD with a standard hard drive that comes with specialized caching software.
No matter which storage option you choose, make sure you choose a storage product based on open source technology instead of proprietary architecture that may tie you to a particular product longer than you’d like.