Most of the discussions that are taking place around the use of solid-state disks (SSDs) are understandably related to servers and dedicated storage hardware. Even so, consumer-grade SSDs have existed for quite some time and can be easily installed into desktop computers. The question is whether or not it is in an organizations best interest to make the transition to SSD for enterprise desktops.
First, let me be clear: There is probably no compelling reason to rip and replace all of your existing hard disks in favor of SSD. Doing so would be expensive and labor-intensive. Having said that, however, I have begun making the transition to SSDs on my own desktops. Rather than performing a bulk rip-and-replace, I have simply been replacing hard disks as they fail.
Admittedly, SSDs have a very high cost per gigabyte when compared to traditional hard disks. However, consumer-grade disks cost far less than enterprise-grade disks, and because desktop computers do not typically store data, it is usually no problem to use small, inexpensive SSDs.
In an enterprise environment, the most compelling reason to transition to SSD storage is usually performance. Many, if not most, desktop users will not benefit from SSD performance because they are not even maxing out the existing hardware capabilities. However, users who perform demanding tasks -- such as CAD drawing or video editing -- will likely see an improvement.
In my experience, the biggest advantages to transitioning to SSDs at the desktop have been a reduction in heat and noise. The desktop on which I am writing this article, for instance, used to be really loud. The fan would run constantly.
Now that I have made the transition to SSD, the fan almost never comes on. My office is a lot quieter as a result. Organizations may also see lower power bills as they transition to SSDs because they consume less power than traditional hard disks, and because it will take less energy to keep the office cool without all of the heat being generated by hard disks.
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