SSD vs HDD: The Answer is Clear

By Erik Linask April 03, 2014

By most measures, the PC/laptop market has been dwindling of late, thanks to the growing abundance of mobile devices – specifically, tablets – which are replacing much of the PC functionality for many users.  The truth is, the majority of that decline is in the consumer space, while business users still rely on their laptops for real productivity.  As much as tablet vendors would like us to believe their lightweight, versatile, smaller form factor products allow users to remain as productive as ever, that simply isn’t the case.

For business users, the simple truth is that tablets do not afford the same level of functionality as tablets – even with the breadth of cloud-based services available today.  Indeed, laptops remain not only a critical tool for business users but, consequently, a challenge for IT departments to support.

One of the biggest issues – and one which consumes a significant amount of time for IT teams, is performance management on existing laptops and data migration to new ones.  According to Ravi Annavajjhala, director of strategic business development for SanDisk, hard drives are a major source of problems in many enterprises, because most have traditional spinning drives that can become damaged and also chew up battery life as a result of having to call up data.

One cost-effective solution that not only helps increase the efficiency of laptops, but also helps extend their life expectancy is to replace existing hard disk drives with newer solid state drives, which call up data much more quickly while consuming about 10 percent of the power of HDDs.  Additionally, because they don’t have spinning spindles, the chance for damage is significantly reduced.

In fact, SanDisk’s own internal case study, in which the company upgraded its existing 4,600 laptops with SSDs, increased performance and life expectancy to the tune of an overall savings of $1.8 million thanks to the resultant increase in work efficiency and reduction in support calls due to lower failure rates.

It wasn’t long ago that the question of SSD vs HDD still revolved around cost, with SSDs being priced out of contention but, as with most technology, costs have come down significantly to the point where businesses can no longer ignore the benefits.

According to Annavajjhala, SSDs today helps address three key business pain points when it comes to technology investment: productivity, TCO, and security.  Productivity is addressed both by faster data access and increased battery life, while lower TCO is achieved as a result of extended lifespans for laptops.  Instead of replacing laptops every two years, for instance, it’s very reasonable to expect an additional year of service, if not more.  SanDisk is currently working on methods to add additional security features to its SSD line as well.

Image via Shutterstock.

Importantly, while many technology upgrades come with a learning curve, replacing the hard drive had no user impact, other than increasing user efficiency and satisfaction.

“It’s not just about cost – when you consider all the factors, the TCO reduction is significant,” he says. 

 “And, there is no disruption to the user or business process.”

At a time when CIOs are focused on increasing business efficiency and reducing costs, replacing hard drives should be a consideration, given its benefits, with little to no downside.  In fact, looking at the potential overall cost savings and increased productivity, it should be a no brainer.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Group Editorial Director

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