back to article Flash is fallible. But you'd rather have an AFA than spinning rust

We tend to think of flash as a solid-state disk – like spinning rust, only more expensive, consuming less power, and much, much faster. And yes, it is true that you can use it like that, but there is a lot more that flash can offer if you start to take into consideration what makes flash different in the first place. Simply …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh the pain of it

    Had to use a system with all the VM's on rotating rust storage the other day. Normally mine are on SSD and I don't notice that they are virtualised.

    Everything took an age as compared to my system.

    Yes using SSD's can most certainly speed up development. Isn't that sort of bleedingly obvious? Isn't the Pope a Catholic?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh the pain of it

      Given a choice between giving up SSDs or giving up the last 15 years of CPU upgrades, I'd choose the latter. SSDs have had a much bigger impact on both PCs and server performance than all the CPU improvements since the 1 GHz single core days.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: giving up

        Why give up one for the other ? With today's prices, I took both.

        An Intel i7 quand core is currently 350€, and for that price you can get a nice Intel 300GB SSD to boot your system on.

        Add a 3TB spinning rust SATA disk to store you work data and you're good to go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: giving up

          I said GIVEN A CHOICE. I have a Q9400 in my PC that is now 6+ years old and see no performance related reason to upgrade it, it is still more than fast enough.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ya'd think

    (The one caveat here is if your application must operate within a regulatory framework that requires data to be stored uncompressed, in the belief that compressed data is no longer verifiably original.)

    Use two very reputable hash functions on the pre-uncompressed to validate the post-uncompressed from the drive. Then again, I've never had to work with such a regime, so what do I know? [I can see it in the context of forensic evidence, especially for trial if proof of authenticity is required which gets into whose experts are telling the truth about pre-/post- and whose obfuscating, especially at the costs of expert testimony.]

  3. Jim O'Reilly

    It will soon be over!

    With 3D NAND hitting the market and bringing flash and SSD pricing down fast, we can expect capacity parity early next year and price parity by the end of 2016...and that's parity with bulk SSD. In fact, SanDisk projects having 16 TB SSD next year

    There are already SSD cheaper than "enterprise" HDD at perhaps 60 percent of the price!

    As the spinning drive makers say: "Winter is coming!"


      Re: It will soon be over!

      SSD that can even displace my current spinning rust (regardless of cost)?

      I will believe it when I actually see it.

      Zero seek times are nice and everything but there's still reliability and failure modes to consider. Will it fail gracefully and allow me time to order a replacement or will it just suddenly kick me in the balls. SSD brands haven't been around long enough to really establish a track record either way here.

      I will use whatever makes sense and gets the job done. I don't have this apparent desperate need to see one or the other fail like a notable chunk of the peanut gallery here does.

    2. Naselus

      Re: It will soon be over!

      Flash stills cost around 50 times as much to make per TB than spinning rust. The SSDs that are presently cheaper than enterprise HDDs are not enterprise grade; their lifetime is measured in terabytes rather than petabytes. That's is fine for consumer-grade, but will fry out in 6 months in my file servers. And since data projections keep increasing just as fast as storage increases, I wouldn't expect price parity ever, really; Flash will be replaced before it gets cheaper than HDD.

  4. CJ_in_AZ


    One other thing that SSDs take better than "spinning rust": Vibrations. Whether it's California sliding off into the Pacific, or on-board an aircraft, the typical Flash won't even notice a shock that will cause an iron oxide disk to CATO with a head crash.

  5. jabuzz

    No iron in a spinning disk

    Put simply there has been no iron based materials in a spinning disk for some considerable period of time now. The platters are either Aluminium or glass and the coatings are none ferrous.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best of both worlds

    Dont the Hybrid player have this right.

    Use fast stuff to accelerate and cheap stuff to store, like Nimble. No trade off required.

    Disclaimer: not a Nimble employee but a fan of their kit, which shall be purchased when my pile of poo filer support is up.

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