About Flash Memory/Solid State Drives

For this page, solid state hard drives and flash memory will be defined as the same type of storage system. The storage concepts with the two devices are the same, but the physical hardware properties are different.

Solid state hard drives and magnetic hard drives have different characteristics when used on any computer (this includes smart phones and mobile devices).

While flash memory cards have been in used, in this tech portal, since 2001 for mobile devices, their intended purposes were utilized as an MP3 player or for a digital still camera. San Disk flash memory cards were used for both devices back then.

Overtime, as Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and Smart phones were released, these memory cards were integrated into them to store files, play videos, take photos, and eventually use them for video recording purposes.

What has happened with these solid state devices is the ability to use them for laptop computers, making them lightweight, better power management, and less of a chance of crashing a magnetic hard drive if the computer was bumped. It also increased the speed of which is used to access or record information (especially with HD videos) but some computer applications aren't intended for flash drive memory.

If you are using a computer for a database server, using a solid state device for storage is a bad idea. Because solid state hard drives and magnetic hard drives don't store information the same way.

As had drives are used, files gets added as well as deleted. A magnetic based hard drive can use available sectors on an active hard drive to store a file if the sectors aren't connected together known as a fragmented file (using sectors where information used to be that are available regardless of file size). Sometimes the computer will def rag the hard drive to put the file together (known as contiguous).

Solid state drives disregard available sectors if the file is bigger than the available sector size. This storage method causes a few problems:

1. Wasted space that isn't used for storage

2. The computer may spend additional time looking for available place to place the file that has contiguous space slowing the computer down.

For those of you that thought it was a great idea to have a 1TB memory card in your smart phone a few years have discovered they aren't available, this is why. A terabyte drive is better to use as a magnetic source (than a solid state source) for the reasons stated above as well as a few other reasons including:

1. Overheating. Solid state device require electronics, that more memory they have and the smaller they are, they will overheat if they are working quite a bit. This overheating process can effect the device you are using as well.

2. Slower performance when device is 2/3 full or higher. Because of the way files are stored, the less room there is, the more time the computer will use to store a file. If you still want to use them, follow the rule of 3rds, when the device is 2/3 full, upgrade it.

Solid state devices are great for backing up large amounts of data if you erase them before backing data up or use the rule of 3rd's

Keep this in mind when working on the Nextcloud server. Raspberry Pi's do use SD cards but it is recommend to use an SD card not bigger than 512gb.

For the project videos, an external magnetic hard drive is used to store the cloud server files, the database server, and the applications.