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Data Centers Embrace Solid State Drives

by on May 21, 2010

Solid state disk drive usage in data centers will explode over the next five years, according to a recent report from semiconductor market researcher Objective Analysis. In the firm’s Solid State Disk Market Outlook report it predicted that by 2015, unit shipments of the drives will reach four million and revenues will increase nearly 17 times what they were in 2009, to $4 billion.

Enterprise_SSD The drives are winning converts in IT departments because, while they have a steep price tag, their total cost of ownership can be lower than enterprise hard disk drives. In addition, solid state drives save power as well as floor space.

According to CIO magazine, solid state drives are replacing 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel drives in corporate data centers or being used to add a high performance storage level in them above the Fibre Channel for computational intensive applications such as relational databases or streaming video.

Without a doubt, traditional hard drives beat solid state drives on a cost per gigabyte basis. At the low end of the category, hard drives offer storage at around 10 cents a gigabyte; at the high end, 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel drive storage ranges from $2 to $3 a gig. On the other hand, storage on solid state drives, depending on the make, spans $3 to $20.

But with the cost of storage is only part of the equation for today’s data center managers. They’ve got to consider performance, too. And it’s in performance where solid state drives run circles around their platter competitors. For instance, a 15,000 rpm Fibre drive’s top performance ranges from 200 to 450 input/output operations per second (IOPS). By comparison, an enterprise solid state drive can perform at from 16,000 to 80,000 IOPS.

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