As IT professionals seek to overcome performance bottlenecks at the storage level in pursuit of faster boot times, application load times etc., some are turning to flash memory, otherwise known as solid state drives (SSD) to get higher performance out of their servers.
Solid state drives are generally considered to be faster, more powerful, more efficient and in some respects more reliable than hard drives.
High end SSDs have proven to yield some very impressive read times, well over double a typical SATA hard disk drive.
The problem is that solid state drives start out really fast and then quickly start losing their speed.
Video: Why Fragmentation is Still a Problem with SSDs »
The popular theory is that because there are no moving parts in an SSD, file fragmentation is not an issue. The truth is SSDs experience write speed degradation due to fragmented file write activity and free space fragmentation. HyperFast® solid state drive optimizer, now included standard in Diskeeper®, keeps your system running as fast as when you purchased it, by optimizing the free space on your SSD.
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So what can be done to keep SSDs as fast as new?
When it comes to read performance, SSDs are by far faster than your standard hard drive. One of the main reasons for such fast read times is the lack of "seek time" that an SSD has to perform to find and retrieve a piece of data versus a hard drive. Simply put, a hard drive has to move a magnetic head connected to an arm over a track on a platter and then through various means to find the data requested and then read or write something.
On the other hand an SSD sends an electrical pulse to read the data which is much faster in comparison. The lack of a moving part cuts the time down considerably.
Writing data to an SSD is a whole other story. Small free spaces are scattered throughout an SSD volume at the logical level and cause the file system to write a file in fragments to those small free spaces. By doing so, write performance is degraded by as much as 80% to that solid state storage device. Diskeeper’s IntelliWrite® technology, prevents fragmentation from happening in the first place. This causes contiguous or sequential writes to occur which are much faster and efficient than fragmented or random writes. This technology combined with HyperFast ensures optimal performance.
Furthermore, SSDs have a finite number of writes that they can perform over their lifetime. One of the downfalls of SSDs is that they require that old data be erased before new data is written over it, rather than just writing over the old information like with hard drives. Due to the doubling effect of needing to read and erase before it can write again, SSDs undergo twice as much use. This doubles the wear and tear and can cause major issues, including shortened lifespan, and slower random write performance.
As the SSD approaches its limit, more fragmentation and write errors occur, causing the SSD to slow. Write performance decreases proportionately as free space fragmentation increases. All SSDs will suffer from this problem at one point or another unless Diskeeper is used to optimize the solid state drive.
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