SSD Hosting, the abbreviated name of Solid State Drive Hosting, is web hosting that uses solid state drives for the storage of data rather than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD).
We shall take a look at some of the many advantages of using SSDs, explain why it is a good idea to sign up with a web host that offers SSD storage, and at the end you will see a graphical summary of the differences between SSD and HDD hosting.
You will find below a list of all the hosting companies we have reviewed that offer SSD Storage. You can check out all our SSD Hosting Reviews and filter by Score, Price, and many other features by using our Filter Tool in the sidebar. In some cases you may find that SSDs are only available on specific plans, so please check before purchasing.
SSD Shared Hosting Reviews
How do SSD’s Work?
The key to understanding why SSDs are so much better than HDDs is to have some knowledge how each work.
- HDDs – These work in a similar way to an old-style record player. They feature a circular plate of magnetic material called a “platter” which is divided into billions of tiny areas. Each of these areas is magnetized to store a “1” or de-magnetized to store a “0”. The enables the data to be stored as binary digits i.e. “101110101”. You can read a detailed article on the subject here.
- SSDs – These have no moving parts or spinning disks. Instead, data is saved in a pool of NAND flash. The bits are stored in cells, and each cell will respond to a particular voltage. An interesting article on how SSDs work can be found here.
The problem with HDDs is that the data is not stored in a sequential way. Due to reliance on a spinning platter the arm will find one piece of data it is seeking and then might have to wait until the platter spins around again before it finds the next piece of data.
Conversely, because there are no mechanical parts in SSDs it does not matter that the data is not stored in a sequential way.
The advantages of an SSD Server relate to better performance, increased reliability and more efficient (i.e. use less energy). We have gone through these in little more detail below:
1. Increased Performance
Studies show that the load time of your webpages has a significant impact on your conversion rates, time on site and visitor satisfaction. No matter how good your site, if you have a slow site your visitors will obtain or purchase products elsewhere.
We have created some graphs visualizing the increase in performance over traditional HDD storage. The data for the charts were taken from technofaq, but many other benchmark tests give similar results.
The two graphs show the latency (response time) for both SSD and HDD. The first graph is a server without any load (i.e. hardly any traffic), and the second relates to a server under load. A shared hosting server is quite often under a fair amount of load, and as such the second graph is much more likely to be experienced in the real-world. The lower the result, the better.
Latency can make a significant different to page speed, especially in database driven applications such as WordPress, Drupal or even Magento. As you can see, SSD storage is significantly faster under load, for example when you are loading multiple files at once, querying databases or even using disk caching.
1.2 I/O Performance and Throughput
I/O Performance otherwise known as Input/outputs Operations per second relates to the frequency calls can be made on the disk before a bottleneck occurs.
As you can see here, SSD’s are at least 15 times faster than HDDs when it comes to I/O throughput. This magnifies the speed in high I/O dynamic applications such as WordPress or other Content Management Systems.
2. Better Reliability
Because SSD’s have no mechanical and moving parts, they suffer much less wear and tear than traditional HDDs. According to technofaq SSDs have a failure rate of just 0.5%, with HDDs have a failure rate between 2 and 5%. This makes SSDs somewhere between four and ten times more reliable.
Not only that but should a problem occur the increased throughput offered by SSDs mean that backups can be restored significantly faster.
3. Greener – Energy Savings
Because SSDs have no moving parts, they produce much less heat than traditional HDDs. With cooling being a major power drain within a data center, it can result in significant savings. Not only that but SSD’s consume only 2-5 watts, with HDDs consuming between 6-15 watts. When you consider each server can have up to four disks, the savings add up.
The few disadvantages relate to the cost of SSD’s, and are summarized below:
SSD hosting is usually much more costly than traditional HDD hosting, with typical SSDs costing around five times more for the equivalent capacity. That being said as the technology is improved the prices are coming down.
As a result such companies usually have tighter restrictions on the amount of disk space you can use and are generally more expensive. It is worth the extra few dollars a month, though.
2. Lower Capacity per Server
While HDDs can have a capacity of up to around 4TB, SSDs have significantly less. While 1TB SSD are available, most hosting providers for cost reasons use smaller SSDs. As a result, you will find that your disk allocation is much less than what you might receive on HDD hosting.
Summary – SSD vs. HDD Hosting
We have summarized the main parts of this article in a cool graphic. Feel free to share!