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Psst. Are you in the know about SSD (aka Solid State Disk)?

By Mary Beth Hamilton | Thursday, May 30th, 2013

To quote PC World, “A high-end SSD is the pinnacle of computer storage today. Ditching your hard drive for one of the latest SSD models is like dumping your go-kart and hopping into a Formula One car.”

But what is SSD?

SSD is a storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory, using integrated circuit assemblies as memory. SSD has no moving parts, which is one of many distinctions between SSD and traditional hard drives that have spinning disks. 

SSD offers huge performance gains over other commonly used storage drives including SAS (serial attached SCSI) drives.  For perspective, the typical enterprise spinning disk is a 15K SAS drive, which offers approximately 200 IOPS.  Mainstream enterprise SSD on the other hand can offer 10,000-100,000 IOPS. 

Why should I care?

Investment management firms are presented with an increasing amount of data, much of which holds the potential to uncover new investment opportunities.  For some strategies (think high frequency trading and algo), the speed at which the data is processed is linked to the size of competitive gain.

This is where SSD comes in.  The huge performance gains delivered by SSD have the ability to speed up large database applications and online transaction processing, which can be hugely impactful.  Big-data analytics is another example of where SSD is appropriately suited. 

Compliments of Wikipedia, here are some other advantages SSD provides:

SSD Comparison Chart

Is SSD Panacea?

SSD delivers numerous performance advances as outlined above, however, there is a price (literally) associated with these gains.   The typical enterprise spinning disk is a 15K SAS drive, which costs about $0.50 per gig and offers approximately 200 IOPS each.  Enterprise SSDs vary in cost and performance, but $3.00-5.00 per gig, and 10,000-100,000 IOPS covers most of the mainstream drives.

As the price comes down, you can expect to see SSD more widely deployed.

Source: Jon Jacobi. (May 13, 2013). The proper care and feeding for SSD storage. PC World

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