With business and personal life being more dependent on stored data than ever before, maximizing the life of storage solutions is a necessity. Whereas years ago a failing hard drive could result in a few erased pictures or a lost homework assignment, the stakes are now far higher. Entire enterprises are built around the idea that data is readily available and stored indefinitely. When an enterprise’s email servers go down, business can grind to a halt. When files disappear, employees can be left needing to redo expensive projects. When cloud storage becomes corrupted, businesses can lose massive amounts of irreplaceable accumulated user data required to fulfil client needs. Simply put, when data disappears, the consequences can be dire.
Customers considering solid-state drives (SSDs) may have misconceptions about SSD life and overall reliability. A few years ago, SSDs had a shorter life expectancy than typical HDDs due to their finite read/write cycles. But improvements in SSD technology have led to this market leader becoming a far longer-lived storage solution than in the past. Above and beyond the rapid rate of technological innovation that SSDs are experiencing, a customer can make sure that they can maximize SSD life and keep their data stored safely well into the foreseeable future by paying attention to the following suggestions.
Treat All Technology with Care, Even SSDs
It’s a known fact, and a prime selling point, that SSDs are far more resistant to damage than traditional HDDs. This is because SSDs write to flash memory through a process that requires no moving parts. No spinning disk and no moving read-and-write heads means no mechanical pieces to break when the drive is shaken while in transit or exposed to other external trauma. Another big factor in terms of damaging HDDs is heat, which is far less damaging to SSDs.
That said, it is always a good idea to keep storage solutions in a safe, climate-controlled environment. While SSDs are not nearly as fragile or prone to damage as HDDs, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t treat them with care and respect. Not to mention, if a customer leaves, for instance, a laptop with an SSD in the back of a hot car, the SSD might not be the weak link. A motherboard or other heat-sensitive components of the laptop could be affected by the heat, and while the data will remain safe on an SSD, the computer will still require repairs. Care can preserve SSD life, as it can extend the lifespan of all electronics.
Enable TRIM to Stretch Out Drive Life
Everyone is familiar with the defragmentation process on HDDs, the reorganization of sectors to maximize the quality of drive function. TRIM technology is essentially the analogous tool on an SSD. Interacting with the SSD’s controller, the TRIM command tells the SSD how to manage its read-write process. While not having TRIM enabled can lead SSDs to implementing extra writing and rewriting work that can eventually lead to drive instability, TRIM allows an SSD to write data in a more organized fashion, dramatically extending a customer’s SSD life.
Disable Programs that Tax an SSD
Some programs created to help in the era of the HDD can put undue stress on an SSD. Defrag, for instance, does nothing to help SSD performance and because of the writes it makes to the drive actually makes an SSD work harder than it needs to. Hibernate, a standard Windows feature, can likewise hurt an SSD. Determining which unnecessary programs are on a customer’s computer that can potentially strain an SSD and getting rid of or disabling those programs can go a long way toward extending SSD life.
SSDs are only growing more technologically sophisticated, reliable, and long-lived as they take on a more prominent place in the market. If your customers follow the tips above, they can help assure that they get the best performance and longest lifespan out of these cutting-edge drives.
How have your customers benefited from extended SSD life?