In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses with an online presence to enhance further their websites. A website is an online business’ most powerful tool, and thus, great care must be channeled towards ensuring that its performance is enhanced. Speed and overall performance are some of the most important factors that need to be considered when making your website. In this regard, carefully selecting a hosting provider becomes a vital step.
Regular web hosting using HDD drives have been dominant for many years. However, increasing market demand has forced web owners to look for better alternatives that can enable their sites to perform better and increase customer satisfaction. Today, Solid State Drives, better known as SSD has become the better alternative. Websites that are hosted on SSD storage has a faster access time and can, therefore, serve their e-commerce applications faster. Switching to SSD storage usually means that a site will load three to five times faster than when hosted on a standard platform. Therefore, the power and performance of the site are increased thus making SSD hosting a much-preferred choice.
HDD is the acronym of Hard Disk Drive. HDD hosting is a traditional hosting service that most web hosting companies are providing to their clients. Cost is the only driving factor for using HDD drives for hosting. This is because HDD drives are quite cheap to buy and are also easy to implement allowing hosting providers to purchase vast amounts of storage space at a low price. Such companies can even give their customers unlimited storage space. However, HDDs have moving parts. Therefore, they are much less durable than SSD drives. Additionally, they stand a higher chance of defragmentation and disk failure. Their booting time and noise levels are also quite higher than SSD drives.
SSD is the acronym of Solid State Drives. SSD drives are usually up to 300% faster than HDD drives. Given the fact that SSD drives do not have moving parts like HDD drives, they are much more durable and less prone to defragmentation, which is another notable feature of these drives, and so do not need to be defragmented. Given this factors, it means that SSDs have a faster read/write speed when compared to traditional HDD drives. Therefore, a website that is hosted on an SSD drive will load much faster.
SSD Hosting vs. HDD Hosting Comparison
File access rates have literally gone through the roof since SSD drives were launched. Normal data access times have gone down to an astonishing low of 0.1milliseconds all thanks to the new electronic interfaces.
Traditional HDD drives are still using the general data file access technology that was developed in the 1950s. This technology is still desperately slow when compared to what SSDs offer despite the fact that it was significantly improved after development. The file access rates of HDD drives still lags behind at 5 to 8 milliseconds.
Random I/O Performance
SSD drives offer a faster data access rate and random I/O performance due to the new file storage technique they embrace. During a test by HostUNI, all drives in the test had the capacity to handle more than 6000 IO operations every second.
In the same test, Hard Disk Drives proved to be much slower than SSD drives. They could only handle 400 I/O operations every second, a gigantic drop from SSD drive capacity. While 400 could appear to be quite a large number, used on a server that is hosting several websites with huge traffic, this will result in sites that load painfully slow.
By design, SSD drives are made to have as little moving parts as possible. Instead, they use a similar technique as that used in portable flash drives making them much more reliable in comparison to HDD drives. The average failure rate of an SSD drive is only 0.5%.
As mentioned earlier, HDD drives have moving parts. They use a rotating disk plate to store data. Consequently, just like anything that makes use of numerous moving parts, they are prone to failure. Normal failure rates of HDD drives vary from 2% to 5%.
SSD drives are smaller in size compared to HDD drives because they do not have any moving parts. Because of this, they produce less heat energy and thus use up a little power for cooling purposes. Generally, SSD drives need less energy to function and typically use up only 2 to 5 watts.
HDD’s on the other hand, are famous for the noise they make. They produce a lot of heat and so it there are several of them in a server, a separate cooling system would be required to ensure they remain cool enough. On average, HDD drives are known to use up between 6 and 15 watts.
The faster the file access speed is, the faster the requested data will be processed by the CPU. Therefore, the CPU does not need to idle when waiting for the SSD to respond. The average I/O wait for an SSD drive if 1%.
HDDs have a slower file access speed than SSD drives. This means that the CPU is forced to pause for a while every time it sends a request to the HDD as it waits for the data requested to be located. HDD drives have an average wait of about 7%.
Input/Output Request Times
Here is an example from real world use. During a full system backup on a web hosting server that used only SSD drives for storage, the average service time for any I/O request throughout the operation remained below 20ms.
When compared to SSD drive, HDD drives give a very slow responses to I/O requests. When performing a server backup, the average service time for an I/O request varied from 400 to 500ms.
The speed at which a backup is made is another important real life example we can use. On a server that uses SSD drives to store data, a full server backup does not take more than 6 hours.
However, in the years when HDD drives were the dominant forms of storage space, performing a full server backup on a server than utilized HDD drives would take between 20 and 24 hours to complete.
So, Highlights Advantages of SSD Hosting
SSD hosting has numerous advantages over traditional SSD hosting. They offer better speeds and performance for websites hosted on them. We are going to discuss the main benefits of hosting your site on a server that uses SSD drives for storage in comparison to HDD drives.
SSD drives have faster data access speeds. This means that data-driven websites can process hundreds of queries in a shorter period. Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are used to run a majority of sites today. When a user visits such a site, database queries are automatically triggered to fetch the required content from the database. For websites hosted on servers that use HDD storage, the access time could be very slow because of the drive’s mechanical movement. Because HDD drives store data on a rotating magnetic platter, the movement required in locating data translates to longer access times that cause websites to load slowly. On the other hand, SSD drives have no moving parts and can read data immediately a request is made leading to a faster loading website that adds to a great user experience.
For e-commerce sites, the loading speed is very important especially given the fact that a slow loading site could adversely affect sales. Customers could become impatient when waiting for the pages to load, and consequently, abandon their shopping cart of even the site altogether. While a 4-second loading time could be thought of as acceptable, it could still lead to a 25% drop in sales if overlooked. Therefore, even if you are not using your website for selling, ensuring faster loading speeds for your website goes a long way in increasing your site’s usability. As a result, you will get more visitors which will translate to more page views, increased interaction, and higher revenue. SSD hosting is a big plus for enhancing database queries, file access times, and the usability of your website meaning that the chance of you missing an opportunity is significantly reduced. Even though the difference in raw data access time between a regular web server using SSD storage and one using HDD storage is measured in milliseconds, when your website is receiving heavy traffic, a single millisecond matters a lot.
SSD drives use non-volatile data storage techniques unlike the system memory (RAM) which uses volatile memory. Therefore, when power is disconnected, loss of data does not occur in an SSD drive. Additionally, SSD drives do not have moving parts. This means that they are not prone to damage from shock or vibration. Therefore, when you use SSD storage to store your data, you do not have the fear of losing it. However, to be completely safe, it is always advisable to regularly backup your site. Use of SSD drives will, however, save you from potential losses from extreme cases.
Now more than ever, demand for cloud storage and data requirements is very high in the internet generation. We should, therefore, be keen to use environmentally friendly methods to meet this demand. SSD drives use up lesser energy in comparison to HDD drives. When you look at the conservation from one web server, the change is insignificant. However, in large scale, when you consider all servers and data centers worldwide, the savings become enormous meaning we can actually make a positive environmental impact by switching to SSD storage.
Start from Scratch or Upgrade Later?
If you have already purchased a hosting plan, you are bound to see a lot of benefits when you make the switch to SSD hosting. While you will most probably see a difference in the amount of disk space allocated, this should not be an issue because you are not likely to exhaust it anyway. The overall performance boost your site will experience is worth more than having a little extra space that you will not use. Additionally, prices are relatively the same meaning you will not be required to pay a premium rate. However, if you are planning to create a website, or if you are in the development stages, there are much better gains from using SSD hosting instead of the traditional HDD hosting. Increased overall performance, faster caching and file access times are the major components in making your site user-friendly and growing traffic, sales, and revenue. The success of your online business is literally in your hands. You can decide to make the right choice and see your website perform exceptionally.
We highly recommend using SSD hosting for your site because it is faster, more secure, and reliable too. An SSD drive could give you hundred times faster overall performance than normal hosting could. This way, you are bound to have customers who will love the response of your website and come back time and time again.