Commentary
4/12/2010
03:51 PM

SSD Storage Prices Just Keep Looking Better

Are solid state disk (SSD) storage prices finally getting reasonable? Absolutely -- as long as your definition of "reasonable" doesn't just depend on what the price tag says.



Are solid state disk (SSD) storage prices finally getting reasonable? Absolutely -- as long as your definition of "reasonable" doesn't just depend on what the price tag says.According to TechRepublic contributor Scott Lowe, one of the best ways to gauge the value of an SSD drive is in terms of its cost per Inputs/Outputs per Second (IOPS) rating. Based on his previous tests, SSD already delivers great value in terms of its performance.

But in more prosaic terms -- namely, cost per TB of storage capacity -- SSD is still a lot more expensive than conventional disk storage.

Still, the trend is clear: SSD storage is getting cheaper by the month.

How cheap? Lowe looked at four current SSD models -- one rated for enterprise use, the others aimed at consumers. Don't get too hung up on that "consumer" moniker; it refers mainly to a drive's average lifespan, and most SMBs will find that any of these drives deliver more than enough reliability for most uses.

What Lowe found was that Intel's enterprise-class SSD cost $12,000 per TB, while the three consumer models cost between $2,800 and $3,200 per TB. That's more than 10 times the cost of equivalent conventional disk storage capacity, but it's an order of magnitude lower than the cost per TB just a few years ago.

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What does that mean to small businesses? Clearly, not many of you will be switching over completely to SSD anytime soon. On the other hand, SSD is now affordable for a growing number of high-end and even mid-range storage applications -- including, in some cases, laptop and desktop startup disks.

And if your business requires storage for use with databases or other applications where superior IOPS performance is a big plus, SSD should definitely be on your technology radar.

For everyone else, keep paying close attention as new SSD models hit the market. Production costs for SSDs continue to plummet, and competition is heating up. That means SSD could very well turn into a mainstream storage technology within the next few years, if not sooner.

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