The best and worst aspect of technology has always been the speed at which it evolves. Between buying the latest smartphone and getting home, it has already become obsolete. Tablets are getting faster, thinner, and more capable. High definition, 3D, Blu-ray, 4G, LTE, it’s almost too much to handle. But one technology that has been quietly improving is storage for computers, and this is one that Tom Buiocchi, the CEO at Drobo, says businesses can’t afford to pass on.
The split is between hard drives (HD) and “flash” drives, for computers called Solid State Drives (SSD). The regular hard drive anyone using a computer is familiar with, a large drive that allows for increasingly more space as time goes on. When I was young hard drives could hold around 200 MBs worth of data, while today it’s not uncommon for newer computers to hold up to two Terabytes of data (roughly just over 2 million MBs.) Hard drives are mechanical devices that use a spinning disk to access data. It’s able to hold so much, but these moving parts take time to access this data.
Solid State Drives, on the other hand, are completely electronic and contain no moving parts. This can improve system speed and file access by leaps and bounds. This is the type of memory used in iPads, other tablets, new notebook PCs, and smart phones. It enables them to start up faster and be much more “mobile” than if they had hard drives. The only downsides to flash technology is that it can’t hold nearly as much data as standard hard drives and, as a newer technology, it is much more expensive. Most businesses can’t afford to move to flash storage because of these reasons; why have less storage and pay more.
But there is a simple answer to these problems. If your company has a lot of data that needs to be stored, but also needs to be accessed quickly every day, businesses might want to look into getting “hybrid” drives. This includes a standard hard drive for storage, along with a smaller amount of flash that allows for big performance differences. Tom has a simple way to imagine it, ” Think Reese’s Cups – with chocolate and peanut butter together you get the best of both.”