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Consumer SSDs vs enterprise SSDs

Posted on 17 January 2019 by Beaming Support

What are the differences between consumer and enterprise SSDs?

Solid State Drives (SSDs) have come a long way in recent years, moving from luxury components for PC enthusiasts to enterprise level necessities in high level server work. The increase in enterprise trust being put in to SSDs is due to a number of data integrity systems working hard to make sure the data stored is correct and available for as long as possible.

If you plan to use an SSD in a server, we would recommend using enterprise grade models, even if consumer grade models will work and be an improvement over traditional hard drives. This is mainly because the consumer grade models won’t be able to protect your data to the same level in the long term.

To maintain data integrity, SSDs use Over Provision and Power Loss Protection systems. Additionally, DWPD is a measure that users can quickly view to determine the difference in drive endurance between one SSD and another. Here we will explain a little more about each of these and what you would expect from an enterprise SSD vs a consumer grade SSD.

Over Provision

This is where the SSD has extra space available to store data should a cell become damaged over time. This extra space is not visible to the user, but the drive’s controller can see it and use it when necessary. Enterprise SSDs will have a much higher amount of over provision space to use than consumer SSDs.

Power Loss Protection

Consumer SSDs usually don’t have power loss protection and if they do the protection is minimal. Enterprise SSDs are starting to use capacitors that ensure the drive has enough power to complete the write or erase task that is underway.

DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day)

Drive writes per day is a measure of how many times the drive can be completely written to, from empty to full each day for the length of its warranty. The higher this measure, the higher the cost of the drive as the higher numbers are usually found on enterprise drives. Consumer drives are usually expected to be as low as 0.10 DWPD, whilst enterprise drives will be as high as 3 DWPD and higher for write specialised drives.

With data integrity and availability being on the forefront of server admins’ minds, it’s important to mitigate the chance that data storage on a server could lose any data at any point in its life. This is why it is important to still use RAID with SSDs (even with the extra protection of enterprise SSDs), as the redundancy would give you the highest integrity and availability possible.


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