When you use various hosting services, you’ll have the option to use different types of installations on your servers. The traditional installation is a hard disk drive (HDD), which spins and reads a little disc, much like a tiny record player. About a decade ago, solid state drives (SSD) became popular as a replacement. The read on the SSD is more immediate and more reliable.
If you’re trying to figure out the advantages of using solid state drives in hosting, it would help to have some idea of what the alternatives are. SSD server hosting means that the server that your website runs off of uses a solid state drive instead of a more traditional hard disk drive.
While everyone will agree that SSDs are better than HDDs, there are still pros and cons to using either option in your practical hosting plan.
Hard Disks versus Solid States
Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are the traditional way of storing data for servers. A hard disk drive actually has a lot in common with a vinyl record. A vinyl record has data physically stored on its surface which can be then read by a needle and record player. In a hard disk drive, there is an actually spinning wheel which is read and sent to the CPU.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) came into common usage in 2009, and are a much faster way for a computer to retrieve information. They have a plug-and-play kind of technology much more similar to a flash drive. The computer doesn’t have to wait for a physical arm to move and read data. SSDs can really improve speeds under high stress CPU conditions.
Some shared hosting plans won’t quite make it clear what kind of hosting they’re offering. In recent years, however, most companies have transitioned their systems toward solid state drives. Solid state drives generally offer better speeds and performance than their hard drive counterparts.
Advantages of Solid State Disks
So what are the technical advantages of leveraging solid state disks instead of more traditional hard drives?
An SSD VPS server is a physical server using a solid state drive which is then split into a number of virtual private servers. If you’re using an SSD VPS instead of a HDD VPS, you can expect overall better performance and better speeds. The increased power and reliability of the SSD VPS helps it split the physical server into a number of virtual servers without losing power on any of them individually.
Less Moving Parts
This may seem counterintuitive, but when you’re building a machine, the less moving parts the better. Moving parts in a machine represent a point of failure when they don’t move correctly. A hard disk drive operates electromechanically, meaning its a combination of electronic signals with mechanical movements. A solid state drive, on the other hand, operates electronically. Less moving parts mean less points of failure. The increased speed and reliability that you’ll see from SSDs is always related to these less moving parts.
Because they have less moving parts, SSDs are more stable, use less power, and are cooler. The simplified mechanical setup of the SSD makes it a more reliable choice for a server than a HDD.
95% and 20 Times More Data During Stressful Outputs
Here are two stats that you’ll see everywhere for the advantages of solid state drives versus hard disk drives. During stressful 1/0 environments where the machine has to run a lot of calculations at the same times, SSDs have a data output that is 95% higher and 20 times faster than their HDD counterparts.
It’s important to remember that the overall data output of a physical server will always be relative to the amount of virtual private servers or the cloud hosting environment that it supports. For example, while SSDs are much faster, a server running an HDD that has 20 times less virtual private servers on its back will run just as fast in stressful environments.
Whether you’re paying for power or just care about the environment and power consumption, solid state drives will win by a lot on power consumption as well. It makes sense, because SSDs have significantly lower moving parts than an HDD. The HDD has to move around a mechanical arm and read signals, while a solid state drive has no moving pieces to power. On average, a hard disk drive will consume up to 15 times more power while idle and anywhere from 2 to 7 times more power while in motion.
Should I Look for Hosting with SSDs?
You should look for hosting that is reasonably priced, delivers good security, and has reliable speeds. While SSDs will certainly contribute to better server speed and reliability, there are more factors to consider than simply whether or not your hosting service uses SSDs. SSDs are still significantly more expensive than the more traditional hard disk drives, and hard disk drives can get the job done just fine in a majority of circumstances.
You definitely shouldn’t look to pay a bunch more money every single month simply because one hosting service has SSDs where another company had hard drive disks. Solid state disks are definitely better, but they are not the only factor to consider when selecting a hosting service.
A solid state drive is an obviously superior piece of technology to run a server off of. It has less power consumption, is far faster under stressful environments, and can hold more data. With less moving pieces, the rate and chance of mechanical failure is significantly less than a hard disk drive. Because it has less moving pieces, it also runs faster and more stable.
But solid state drives are not the only thing to consider when you’re picking a server for your website to be hosted on. You also need to consider the cloud environment, virtual private server environment, or dedicated server hosting situation. There are definitely cases where a hard disk drive will make more sense as a solution for your company, if it saves you chunks of money and you get a better hosting service. All things being equal, definitely go with a solid state drive.