Solid State Hard Drives

I’m starting to get excited about solid state hard drives (SSDs). They’re still ridiculously expensive, but at least they’re starting to get some decent random & streamed performance without matching spinning drives for power consumption.

Linus raves about his Intel 80GB SSD here. The thing that prompted this blog post was an email from rackable systems saying they’re starting to offer them in servers.

The one obvious drawback with the things is disposal: I’m the opposite of an expert, but filesystems on flash (especially the flash-aware ones) seem to mark fatigued sectors as such and start using other sectors instead. Therefore, in theory, a worn out flash drive has lots of marked-dead sectors that might contain Useful Information. I imagine this problem is true of spinning hard drives, but perhaps not so much.


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