Digital Transformation

Keeping data solely on SSDs ‘risks massive information loss’

Solid-state drives may not be as reliable as many people think.

Companies that store all of their records and important information on solid-state drives (SSDs) such as USB sticks are taking a huge risk, one expert has warned.

A study was carried out at the University of Ohio and HP Labs that aimed to expose SSDs to common situations including power loss, InfoWorld reports.

Out of the 15 from various vendors that were subjected to these test conditions, 13 suffered failure including bit corruption and metadata corruption.

Some even failed completely, while others lost data that the researchers had expected to survive the outage.

SSDs are replacing common storage methods such as discs in many homes and businesses, but power failure is a widespread occurrence even at large-scale firms where it is carefully managed, such as Amazon.

Although they are faster and better than hard drives, this worrying behaviour under test conditions could have wider implications when it comes to how companies choose to utilise storage systems.

It may be that many choose to seek out third party solutions such as those from Dajon Data as a result.

Researchers Mai Zheng, Joseph Tucek, Feng Qin and Mark Lillibridge warned that business owners who rely heavily on SSDs are risking "massive data loss".

Anyone who does need to use SSDs for some operations was advised to "test their actual SSD models carefully under actual power failures beforehand".

It comes after My Wealth Cloud chief operating officer Chris Willford suggested cloud computing is likely to have an important role in backing up files in future, with many companies potentially set to move their records storage exclusively online for data protection reasons.

"You are responsible for keeping your data safe," Information Commissioner’s Office technology policy advisor Dr Simon Rice recently said in newly issued guidance. "You can outsource some of the processing of that data, as happens with cloud computing, but how that data is used and protected remains your responsibility."