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Data loss from solid state disk (SSD) technology increases with wider adoption

June 2016 by Kroll Ontrack

According to a recent solid state disk (SSD) technology use survey1 by Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery, 92 percent of nearly 2,000 global respondents are using SSD technology, but a growing number reported experiencing a failure. Of those who experienced failure, nearly two-thirds lost data.

“Businesses and consumers continue to move toward SSD technology,” said Jeff Pederson, senior manager for data recovery at Kroll Ontrack. “Aside from the sheer speed and reliability of solid state drives, prices have decreased to become more competitive with traditional storage. Nevertheless, users are less than perfect and, as our research shows, failures do occur.”

Over one-third of survey respondents (38 percent) indicated they experienced a failure with SSD, and of those, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) lost data. Relatedly, SSD recoveries at Kroll Ontrack have become a larger percentage of the full mix of media types on which data recovery is performed.

Pederson added, “While adoption of SSD is up and failure rates between SSD and HDD are consistent, the types of failure are generally different. With hard drives, a bad motor or scratch in the platter can cause failure. Because there are no moving parts in SSDs, general electric failure or wear leveling failure are more common. When failure leads to data loss, it’s not uncommon for IT admins and consumers to utilize data recovery software to attempt recovery, as demonstrated by nearly three-quarters of respondents who took that approach.”

As SSD technology proliferates, there is a burgeoning market for other advanced storage technologies like solid state hybrid disk (SSHD), helium drives and heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) hard drives. In all cases, use of these advanced storage technologies is up slightly from last year’s survey: SSHD and helium drives grew two percentage points and respondents indicate integration of HAMR hard drives into their enterprise. (Note that HAMR hard drives were not measured in the 2015 SSD survey.) Global adoption of SSHD stands at nearly a quarter of all users (23 percent), helium drives at three percent and HAMR hard drives at two percent.

“Advanced storage technologies are certainly expanding at the enterprise level, but SSD growth continues to dominate the current market,” said Todd Johnson, vice president, data and storage technologies at Kroll Ontrack. “In fact, 80 percent of survey respondents indicated SSD use in laptops and mobile devices, nearly two-thirds in desktops, and 23 percent in servers. Only five percent do not currently leverage SSD technology in some capacity, with over half citing cost as the most common barrier. Given the known performance benefits and decreasing costs, we expect continued rise in adoption.”

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