Solid-state drives (SSDs) face two significant barriers to wide-scale adoption. Price and reliability. Prices continue to drop, thankfully, but longevity continues to be a concern. JEDEC to the rescue!
You see, the flash memory in SSDs have a limited number of re-writes, and even with wear-leveling technology, eventually, the drive will give out. And while SSD vendors have adopted mean time before failure ratings similar to hard drive manufacturers, they’re not necessarily a good indicator of an SSD’s reliability due to the variability in workloads. And since SSD-based arrays are currently being pitched as a high-performance storage alternative to enterprises, you can see where the concern stems from.
Now, the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association released two new standards: JESD218 Solid-State Drive (SSD) Requirements and Endurance Test Method and JESD219 Solid-State Drive Endurance Workloads. Both should give storage managers a strong sense of how long SSD drives will last in enterprise-class arrays and servers (a client workload spec is in the works for SSDs aimed at the end-user market) and help guide their low-power, high-performance storage purchasing decisions. And that means there’s one less uncertainty to weigh, giving them confidence to shift more of their storage budgets toward the SSD-based systems.
Computerworld’s Lucas Mearian has more detail, including where to download the new specs.