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Educating Your Clients on SSD Reliability

July 20, 2017

Integrators that are System ArchiTECHS partners regularly utilize the facts surrounding the convergence and importance of performance, reliability, and endurance. This is an important integration of factors that VARs must be able to explain to clients so that they see how they collectively impact their decision to make the move to SSD. In order to show SSD reliability, VARs must be capable of educating clients on the ways in which SSD reliability is measured.

The Measure of SSD Reliability

Drive failures are a cost burden to consumers and IT departments that can result in lost productivity and revenue that can cripple a business. Fortunately, today’s SSDs undergo extensive quality testing and are engineered to reduce such costs and minimize downtime as a result of storage-related failures.

Performance, reliability, and endurance are routinely measured via annual failure rate (AFR). Exhaustive studies have shown that SSDs have an AFR of tenths of one percent, while the AFRs for hard disk drives (HDDs) can run as high as four to six percent. Of course, educating clients on SSD reliability can start with SSDs’ lack of moving parts and an ability to withstand shocks and vibrations without the risk of data loss.

This feature has made SSDs a critical component in today’s increasingly mobile world. SSDs are found in myriad devices that have become integral parts of our on-the-go world: tablets, two-in-ones, and laptops. The ability to point to mobile and desktop reliability benefits of SSDs can show some of the ways in which they are the smart choice for organizations.

As a matter of fact, showing clients how SSDs are reliable has to start with the reality that with any technology, failures do happen. That’s why it’s important to explain why SSD failures happen and to put those failures in the context of their very low, real-world failure rate.

Why Flash Memory Fails

With SSDs, flash memory stores data as electrical charges that, over time, build up and degrade capacity. Most SSDs compensate for flash memory loss due to this destructive process by blocking out bad sectors, or cells, and finding good sectors to replace them.

SSD throughput is rated in gigabytes per day. As a matter of course, the data throughput of an SSD could be as little as a few hundred megabytes for an average business process user. Conversely, it could also be as high as several gigabytes for digital media production or other data-heavy processes.

Common solid-state failures are often software-related, such as firmware issues, or from exceeding endurance levels. But those types of failures are often more predictable and trigger remedial actions before a failure actually occurs.

Leading SSD manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure the highest SSD reliability of their solutions. Many are advancing SSD reliability through the use of advanced controllers, firmware, and troubleshooting processes for end to end data path protection.

Business Education Starts with VAR Education

Today, the increases in reliability have enabled SSD warranties to stretch from three to five years. Of note is the fact that several endurance studies like the recent Tech Report experiment have shown how that five-year mark can be seen as highly conservative in real-world usage terms, which bodes well for the reliability of SSDs.

Having both real-world usage pattern knowledge as well as having highly researched and reliable knowledge base data on SSD reliability are both important aspects of a VAR’s ability to provide sound educational points for clients. Ultimately, the hands-on experience, knowledge sources, and support all come together as a way to enable VARs to let the educational facts convince businesses and organizations to make the change to SSDs with confidence.