Solid-state drives outclass hard drives as a storage medium in almost every way: they’re faster, less fragile, and can store more data per square inch. But according to some experts, SSDs suck at long-term storage of information, thanks to one particular problem: temperature.


Under optimal conditions, consumer-grade SSDs — the ones you’d find in most laptops — retain data for two years when not powered up. For enterprise SSDs, that drops to four months. Those numbers alone aren’t a problem — anyone cold-storing data for months on end is probably using tape drives anyway.

But what is a problem is SSDs stored under less-than-optimal conditions. For every rise of 9 degrees Farenheit in the ambient temperature, the data retention period is cut in half. So, that SSD that retains information for two years at 77 degrees will only keep it for a year if the thermometer hits 85.


More problematically, that means enterprise-grade drives stored in a hot environment — say, for example, a server farm — can have a retention period of days, if the temperature is high enough. So until that problem is sorted out — or the planet goes into another ice age — good old-fashioned tape drives are going to have to stick around. [KoreLogic]

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