Two years ago when I started working in the hosting business I didn't even know what a "domain name" is, yet what a SSD is. It was two years ago when I first heard about SSD and I'm pretty sure there are many as myself wondering what is a SSD, what is the difference between a SSD hosting plan and a HDD plan and which one is best for their website. By the end of the article, you should be able to make the right call as to which one you should choose. Let's start by briefly explaining what is a HDD and what is a SSD.
HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive. This is the traditional hard drive that stores data on platters. HDD have been around for ages, more precisely since 1956, when being introduced by IBM. Inside a Hard Disk there are many spinning disks (platters). The Hard Disk head stores and reads data from the platters by moving around it's axis while the platters spin extremely fast. This mechanical action leads to delayed response time, technically referred to as Access Time. So far, so good! But what does this mean for your website? Let's put it like this:
- Lots of disk space available – Current capacities range from 500 GB to 4 TB
- Lower cost – You can get a standard HDD for about $50 - $200.
- Very slow performance compared to SSDs.
If your website does not require a high performance and your application is not using millions of small files that are accessed randomly, you should consider a HDD hosting plan. In other words, if you are a start-up or your website is supposed to be just a presentation page with a low number of visitors then you should go for a HDD hosting plan.
SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Unlike the HDD, the SSD stores data on microchips. Because it has no moving parts that have to reach a specific point to read the data, the SSD has virtually no delays in serving the read/write requests. What does this mean for your website?
- Very high performance – They serve random data about 100 times faster than a HDD
- Very high transfer speed – About 5 times larger throughput
- Higher cost – While a low end 120 GB SSD is about $100 expect to pay about $3500 for an 800 GB enterprise grade SSD.
- Limited storage space – These drives average capacity is about 250 GB and up to 1 TB, with the latter being overly expensive
If your website requires high performance, fast response time and uses random data access, you should probably opt for a SSD hosting plan. In other words, if you running a very busy site you should probably go for a SSD.
So bottom line is that, there's no right or wrong answer. Before choosing a hosting plan, you should asses what's more important: lots of storage for a couple of pennies, or high performance for an extra cost. Both hosting options are good if chosen for the right purpose.