IT managers choose SSDs over hard disks

IT managers are falling in love with SSDs in enterprise servers because they solve two major headaches: they run so fast they can replace multiple HDDs and they help reduce the electric bill.

The benefits of SSDs, which are made from flash memory chips and have no moving parts, are even helping many IT managers get over their initial sticker shock, says Jim Handy, lead storage analyst at Objective Analysis.

The key is speed, as measured in IOPS (input/outputs per second). Many IT managers, particularly those at banks, stock brokerages or with other transaction-type needs, have so much trouble with HDD speeds that they hook up several HDDs to one enterprise server in order to increase IOPS.

An enterprise SSD can cost from US$5,000 to US$10,000, depending on capacity, but if it can replace the need for ten enterprise HDDs, which cost around US$350 to US$1,200 each, an IT manager has already recouped their investment. Tack on savings to the electric bill over time, and SSDs appear even more attractive.

Companies running large data centres are at the forefront of replacing HDDs with SSDs in enterprise servers, Handy said, often replacing thousands of HDDs with a hundred or more SSDs.

Objective Analysis predicts unit shipments of SSDs for the enterprise will rise 151 per cent per year through 2013.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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