SSDs are Poor Packaging for Flash Memory

Posted: 29 Nov 2011   By: Charlie Holmberg
SSDs are Poor Packaging for Flash Memory

There are numerous advantages to using flash memory in conventional IT systems: Flash excels at random I/O, it's non-volatile, and it costs far less than DRAM.

The power of flash memory is often hidden behind an SSD controller to mask its complexity—a treat for device-makers, who can easily exchange a hard drive with an SSD without dramatically altering their infrastructure.

Stephen Foskett from The Storage Community predicts that future storage devices will use flash directly, rather than packaging it within an SSD. “Solid-state disk drives are just one packaging option for flash,” he says in his article, SSD is Not the Best Way to Use Flash Memory in Storage, “and not a very good one at that.”

The power of SSDs is compromised when compared to memory acceleration options designed as a memory tier, such as PCIe-based flash memory cards. We are finding that PCIe solutions outperform SSDs by a wide margin, and those findings are validated by people like Foskett, who writes that the benefits of PCIe memory will become “increasingly obvious” in years to come.

To put it simply, an SSD solution may give a system a performance boost, but as customers tell us, in many case studies, non-SSD PCIe flash memory offers a significant upgrade that will carry IT infrastructure well into the future.

Charlie Holmberg

Technical Writer
Other posts by Charlie Holmberg >