What is an HDD?

Traditional HDD Drives – An electro-mechanical data storage device that uses magnet storage to store and retrieve digital data using one or more rigidly rotating disks coated in magnetic material. HDDs use spinning platters or disks to read and write data. It is a mechanical Hard Disk and therefore slower than SSD. Hard disk drives have been around for over 50 year and they have steadily increased their storage capacity while decreasing their physical dimensions. For better understanding, an HDD is like an CD which rotates to send in and get out the stored data.

What is an SSD?

SSD is an acronym for Solid State Drive. It is not a moving part (like Pen drives). This is why it performs better than traditional hard drives that have spinning and moving parts and are mechanical. SSD is proven to be fifteen to twenty times faster than regular HDD. SSD isn’t cheap upfront, but they become cheaper as the usual life of SSD is far higher than that of HDDs under regular usage.

What is an NVMe SSD?

NVM Express (Non-Volatile Memory Express), a new protocol that allows access to high-speed storage media, offers many advantages over legacy protocols. This interface was designed to support client and enterprise systems that use PCI Express solid-state drives. NVMe’s are useful for larger file transfers and IO intensive operations.

Which is faster? How much faster?

HDD150 MB/Sec
NVMe SSD7200 MB/Sec

From the table given above, it is easier to see which is the slowest and fastest.

Which hard drive should I choose for my server?

SSDs are expensive. Although storage capacity has increased dramatically over the years HDDs still offer better value and are typically priced at around 5c per gigabyte. Although solid-state drives have seen a significant drop in their prices, you will still pay about 50-80c per gigabyte. Hard disks are still the best storage option for large amounts of data.

If you are looking for a dedicated server for application hosting purposes, which requires best possible performance, it is always better to opt for SSDs. Else, if you’re looking for a server to store your backups off-shore, an HDD would be ideal.

It is not that HDD isn’t good for application hosting tasks, there are still hundreds of applications running on HDD by our clients and they all perform good and does their job. But the thing with SSD is, even if you bootstrap your application all out of sudden, and if you have unforeseen traffic, SSDs can save your day as HDDs wouldn’t be able to handle a huge load.

At the end of the day, the ideal option is based on the project you’re working on, and its resource demands.