March 15th, 2010 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.
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:
- Brief from Micron that examines the “multistep write process” for SSDs
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.
- What is DAS (Direct Attached Storage)?
- What are Storage Area Network (SAN) Arrays?
- What is Network Attached Storage (NAS)?
- What is Unified Storage?
- What is Object Storage?
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.