by Brian Beeler

Storage Reference Guide

Storage is central to all computing. Whether it's a high capacity hard drive, speedy SSD or flash storage used in portable drives and memory cards, everything that uses and stores data does it with some sort of storage media.

While spindle-based hard disks have dominated the storage landscape for decades, SSD adoption is cruising thanks to increased capacities, performance and sliding prices. And there's hardly a person that doesn't have a flash card for the digital camera or a USB drive to share files between home and work.

All of these devices have benefits and a series of questions that go with them. How to hard drives work? What are the benefits of an SSD? What are hard drives and SSDs made of? How does a flash memory card hold data without power?

These questions and many more will be answered in the below guides and how-to articles. If you need more information on a topic, please post to the storage forums. If you  would like to suggest guide topics or to contribute to any of our guides, please contact us

SSD (Solid State Drive) Guides

SSDs are growing in popularity across segments from consumer computing to enterprise storage. The SSD guide covers the origins and history of the SSD drive all the way down to a detailed look at each component of an SSD and why each is important.  SSD Guide

Learn more about SSDs compared to HDDs - SSD vs. HDD

SSD manufacturers release firmware updates from time to time that can improve SSD performance, reliability and compatibility with host systems. Upgrading an SSD's firmware isn't always as straightforward or simple as perhaps it should be however. In this guide, we break down the upgrade process and show you alternative ways to update SSD firmware. How to Upgrade SSD Firmware

If you own an Apple computer and have upgraded or plan on upgrading to an SSD, this is a must read. How To: Enable TRIM with Non-Apple SSD

Enterprise SSD Knowledge Base:

Enterprise Storage

In this series of articles by HP's Brad Parks, we demystify the alphabet soup that segments the DAS, SAN and NAS space, along with providing clarity into the different types of storage and what they mean.

SDS 

Networking
Storage performance depends a great deal on the interconnect or interconnects in some cases. Learn about the variety of networking solutions available and how we deploy them in the StorageReview Lab

SQL Server
For those running SQL Server 2012 in non-virtualized environments, we have studies on best CPU and best RAM configurations for dual-socket Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 systems.

Caching and Hybrid Storage Solutions

There are several ways to accomplish hybrid storage solutions, with the end goal of achieving SSD-like speeds across a larger platter-based hard drive or drive array. The solutions vary from software to hardware implementations and each have their pros and cons for client and enterprise use. In this article we break down an array of current caching and hybrid storage options. Hardware and Software Caching Explained

Other Storage Guides

Those who need the fastest storage for duties like video production and compiling need may consider using a RAM disk. This guide provides a brief overview of what a RAM disk is and where they may be beneficial. Introduction to RAM Disks

Drive encryption is a hot topic as more companies have users taking data outside the company firewall via mobile devices. Learn more about self encrypting drives (SEDs) and their benefits. What is an SED? | Top 10 Reasons to Buy an SED

New Storage Guides Coming

The SR team plans on adding several new guides, how-to articles and the like in the coming months. The current list of ideas includes storage uses by type, including a look at the options for storing data in the home theater environment. To suggest guide topics or to contribute to any of our guides, please contact us