It seem that pretty much all of the drives are very good and last longer than their manufacturers state. It's a fairly unusual state of affairs – something in IT that does better than it states on the can
The winner is Samsung's 840 Pro, which manages more than 2.4PB of data before it dies.
This is great news for consumers, but there are some gotchas. It seems that most drives fail hard when they finally do fail, leaving your data inaccessible.
Some of the drives’ software happily states they are healthy right up until the day they irretrievably expire.
A lot of people assume that when SSDs fail and reach their end-of-life for writes, the data on them will still be readable. It seems that this is not the case with the majority of drives, so you are going to need decent back-ups.
What does this mean for the flash array market? Well, in general it appears to be pretty good news and that those vendors who are using consumer-grade SSD are vindicated. But it does show that managing and monitoring the SSDs in those arrays is going to be key. Software is going to be king, as per usual.
A much larger-scale test needs to be done before we can be 100 per cent certain and it’d be good if some of the array vendors were to release their experiences around the life of consumer drives that they are using in their arrays.
Still, if I was running a large server estate and was looking at putting SSDs in them, I would probably now think twice before forking out huge amounts of cash on eMLC kit and I would instead be looking at higher-end consumer drives. ®