Back in the early days of computers (8 bit into 16 bit) the biggest HDD (Hard Disk Drive) one could afford was 25 Mb (That’s Mega Byte). Today it seems anyone can afford off the shelf 1-2 Tb (Terabyte) in HDD. HDDs (at the time of this article) have a limit of 4 Tb and have a life expectancy of 4-6 years constantly spinning in a corporate environment, while in a residential environment HDDs have know to last 8+ years before any failure shows up.
To extend that life expectancy of any HDD (corporate or residential) one can use a Software Hard Drive Recovery Program Called SpinRite in Maintenance Mode on a repeated use (such as twice a year) and it would extend the life of most HDDs to many years.
The Most common problem of HDDs are due to Over Heating and / or some Idiot dropping the drive when the power is on. Technology this day has increased these problems to almost nothing but with all the moving parts running inside, these little miracles there are limits and problems will happen.
To compensate for the problems that HDDs have a New Technology was Developed called SSD (Solid State Drive) which is also called a Ram Drive being that is all it is, a Ram Drive with No Moving Parts. This sounds like Great News but being new Technology the Sizes on the First Generation of SSDs were in the low Gb (Giga-Byte) Range of 100-500 Gb (That’s 0.1 – 0.5 Tb), not the size to replace the current HDDs but used as a boot drive with quicker access the SSDs could work with HDDs and everyone would be happy. The Second Generation of SSDs could reach the Tb range of 1-2Tb.
As with HDDs, SSDs also have limitations regarding write cycles. It seems that SSDs can only write to the same sector only so many times and then the sector is non-writeable and locked out, the sector can read as many times as wanted without the worried of being locked out. The early generations of SSDs have shorter write cycles were the newer generations have larger write cycles. To compensate with this problem manufactures have increased the size of the storage and lockout the non-writeable sectors to copy the sector into a new sector with more write cycles.
One Manufacture (Fixstars Solutions Inc.) has created the next generation SSD with the storage capacity of 6 Tb (Yes that’s 6 Tera-Bytes) and can now boast the fact that SSDs can not only replace the HDDs but surpass all the HDDs out there, even with the problems of SSDs of today (Really Increase the Storage and use the S.M.A.R.T. technology of SSDs to recover locked out sectors).
Another surprise that no one though would work is the same software the increases the life span of HDDs also works to increase the life span of SSDs using Full Sector Reads of the Whole SSD.
The new Concept is that was used of many HDDs (Say a File Server) can now be replaces with one SSD (6 Tb), imagine using 6x 1Tb HDDs and replacing them with 6x 6Tb SSDs…
So as the Title says: “SSD – The Sky is the Limit”, I Agree !