Survey reveals SSD and flash drives are reliable but not foolproof

According to a recent survey carried out by data recovery company Kroll Ontrack, while more than 90% of respondents perceive SSD/Flash failure rates to be minimal and the technology to be reliable, 57% of respondents have experienced data loss with SSD/Flash technology. Further, three quarters  of respondents consider the recovery of data from SSD/Flash to be nearly impossible or complicated, indicating respondents are skeptical of the feasibility of SSD/Flash recovery when it is needed.

“System area corruption accounts for 60% of SSD/Flash data loss, but physical damage, file system corruption, electronics failure and human error are also factors,” said Troy Hegr, Ontrack Data Recovery technology manager, Kroll Ontrack.

He explained that in the case of SSD/Flash data loss, recovery can be more complex. SSD/Flash data reside in a more scattered format on the drive as compared to traditional hard drive media where data is stored more linearly. Industry standards for data layout and organisation on SSD/Flash mediums are not yet fully established, often requiring custom recovery solutions based on the specific manufacturer and model of the device.

Data storage technology is trending toward SSD both on an enterprise and consumer level. Of the more than 500 survey respondents consisting of business, home and government users, nearly 70% revealed that they currently use or plan to use SSD/Flash technology in the near future. This high adoption rate is likely linked to the fact that three quarters of respondents are experiencing increased performance with SSD/Flash devices in contrast to traditional hard drive technology; and more than 75% of respondents believe SSD/Flash to be a safer, more robust storage technology that additionally consumes less power and is therefore more environmentally friendly.

The survey was conducted by Kroll Ontrack. A total of 560 online questionnaires were completed among individuals in the following categories: business user, home user and government user. Interviews were completed in the spring of 2011.

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