Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail
A solid-state disk/drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store data. Unlike hard disk drives, which have spinning platters and drive heads, solid state drives should contain no moving parts. For dealerships, this may be an area for consideration for systems that require instant ‘on’ capability, or for portable systems in an abusive environment
SSDs may be preferred over traditional disk drives for a number of reasons. One advantage is in the speed of booting-up; hard disk drives need to be spinning and therefore have a "spin up" time which solid state drives do not. In addition, information on solid state drives can be accessed immediately so there is no delay experienced when data is transferred. The data captured in SSDs is stored in memory and can be accessible almost instantaneously. The storage on SSDs is handled by flash memory chips, which provides three strong advantages: less power usage, faster data access and higher reliability.
Faster start-up because no spin-up is required.
Fast random access because there is no read/write head.
Silent operation due to the lack of moving parts.
Low power consumption and generate little heat when in use.
Greater mechanical reliability due to lack of moving parts.
Ability to endure extreme shock, high altitude, vibration and extremes of temperature. This makes SSDs useful for laptops, mobile computers, and devices that operate in extreme conditions.
Failures occur less frequently while writing/erasing data, which means there is a lower chance of irrecoverable data damage.
The capacity of SSDs is currently lower than that of hard drives. However, flash SSD capacity is predicted to increase rapidly.
Asymmetric read vs. write performance can cause problems with certain functions where the read and write operations are expected to be completed in a similar timeframe. SSDs currently have a much slower write performance compared to their read performance.
Due to the low storage density of SSDs, hard disks can store more data per unit volume than DRAM or flash SSDs, except for very low capacity/small devices.
Flash-memory cells have limited lifetimes and will often wear out after 1,000 to 10,000 write cycles for MLC, and up to 100,000 write cycles for SLC. Special file systems or firmware designs can mitigate this problem by spreading writes over the entire device, called wear leveling.
As a result of wear leveling and write combining, the performance of SSDs degrades with use.
DRAM-based SSDs (but not flash-based SSDs) require more power than hard disks, when operating; they still use power when the computer is turned off, while hard disks do not.
SSDs are greater in cost when compared to hard disks. SSDs are a higher cost per megabyte of storage and are more expensive per gigabyte compared to hard drives. A normal flash drive may cost US$1.50-3.45 per gigabyte, hard drives are around US$0.38 per gigabyte. But in some applications the overall cost turns out to be less costly when comparing the higher reliability and no spinning parts of SSDs to the cost of possibly having to replace multiple hard disks.
SSDs are a rapidly developing technology that may be significant to how a dealerships data infrastructure is developed and managed. Understanding the full range of uses, advantages, disadvantages and costs of SSDs should be considered when evaluating the different types of data storage within dealerships. Some applications within the dealers infrastructure may benefit from SSD like active directory servers or other applications where immediate booting-up would be required. SSD will however not replace data storage where a great deal of data writes are required like database servers or email systems.