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SSD pricing and use cases

Leah Schoeb of Evaluator Group discusses SSD pricing and use cases when SLC flash makes sense in this Expert Answer.

Has SSD pricing come down to high performance HDD prices yet? Also, MLC flash seems to have overtaken SLC flash at this point -- are there tasks that SLC is more suited to though?

There are indicators this year that some SSDs have come down in price close to high performance HDDs. This is specifically with MLC (multi-level cell) SSDs that offer higher density but less performance and reliability than SLC. With 3D NAND starting to be manufactured and sold in the market, the prices for MLC and TLC will eventually rival the price of high performance HDDs. However, not all SSDs are created equal and depending on the type and quality of the drive the price of can vary widely.

Though SLC is more expensive than MLC there are two main reasons that SLC would be used over MLC. The first is performance. SLC has higher performance than MLC. For mission critical applications that difference in performance can be a determining factor whether tight SLAs will be met for demanding Tier 1 applications. The second is reliability. SLC has higher endurance, lower power consumption and tends to have a longer lifespan.

SLC can be a better fit for demanding Tier 1 applications, field operations or meeting strict uptime reliability requirements.

This was first published in November 2013

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