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I use spinning-drive storage media ...

Displaying poll results.
For absolutely everything (or just about)
  7018 votes / 33%
More than solid-state, but not exclusively
  9495 votes / 44%
About the same as I use solid-state storage media
  1563 votes / 7%
Less than solid state, but I still use it
  2253 votes / 10%
For absolutely nothing (or just about)
  572 votes / 2%
I just use The Cloud; is that "storage media"?
  310 votes / 1%
21211 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
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I use spinning-drive storage media ...

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  • by twocows (1216842)
    Solid state is all right in certain circumstances, but I always treat it as a suspect drive about to fail. I'm loathe to put anything of value on one, but they can be great as drives dedicated to caching... well, anything that uses caching. They're perfect for that. Anything else, no thanks. And the price per unit storage could stand to come down a bit, too. It's a lot better than a few years ago, but still not reasonable in most cases.
    • by Kittenman (971447) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:21PM (#44833393)

      Solid state is all right in certain circumstances, but I always treat it as a suspect drive about to fail.

      Me, I treat all media as about to fail. Professionally, I've spent many a happy year backing up from one media type to another just in case I was right. Once or twice I have been.

      • Me: all your hard drive is about to fail.

        You: I know, they are always about to fail.

        Me: No I mean your drives and optical discs are all about to burn in a fire.

        You: How is this different than any other time?

        Really? I think what you mean is that you treat all media as if it *could* fail at any time, and hopefully not simultaneously. If I treated all media as if it was about to fail, I would spend all my time driving to Fry's to buy more hard drives until I ran out of money.

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          It is always good to test media and test restores as well.

          For example, I thought a program (Paperbak) that printed out binary files with ECC would be the answer because paper tends to be a resilient medium. Boy, was I wrong. I never could get scans to ever work with that program, no matter what DPI and ECC combinations I used.

          I think there is still a niche for a program that can print out binary files with ECC. It is always good to use different medium types anyway, because invariably, one will fail.

          It w

          • There's no such thing as 'reliable tape' and there never has been. There's a reason so many companies have moved to disk based backups. Tape drives fail in ways that aren't detectable until you need to read that tape in another drive. The only reason tape was such a dominant backup medium for so long was cost.
        • Storage media have lifespans.

          Try putting one of my Apple II+ floppies in a floppy drive - if you have one that can read it.

          Or my old decks of System/36 punch cards.

          Actually, the latter are still readable.

          • Yes all media will fail eventually. This is different than all media will fail imminently.
          • Dunno about my ][e floppies since I don't have anything that read those, but my C64 floppies seem to be fine after about 25-30 years. But then again, density is so low you can almost see the sectors themselves.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Me, I treat all media as about to fail.

        That's a whole lot easier when you haven't 10x more for the media.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      SSD is very useful, but because it can't be recovered like a spinning disk with a clean room, there has to be more of a focus on backups.

      What might be ideal would be a hard disk controller card that can do RAID 1, but asynchronously. This way, the writes hit the SSD and go on, while being buffered to the HDD to write when it gets around to it. Of course, there would have to be something for consistency (a large battery backed up RAM buffer that will block the I/O on the SSD when it fills up), but this mig

    • by smash (1351)
      You should treat EVERY drive as suspect and about to fail. Whether it spins or is solid state.
    • by MrL0G1C (867445)

      The failure rate of SSDs is a third of that of HDDs and HDDs can also fail catastrophically. It surprises me that anyone would run a PC without an SSD as their OS driver, the speed difference is night and day.

  • by Hartree (191324) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:30PM (#44833493)

    I think this is when I forget to take the notes to myself out of my pants pocket before washing them.

    Data permanence is a bit lacking.

    • Why do you have to wash the notes you write to yourself? Are they dirty notes? ;^)


    • by mrmeval (662166)

      I disassembled one that quit working and had to resolder the flash chip due to stress cracking. I did fix that. Then I reinforced the USB connector with solder and metal filled epoxy (inert). Then I cast fumed silica bearing epoxy around it in a custom mold. With a silicone rubber cap it will survive 8 hours in salt water at 3x seawater salt concentration. It also survived 8 hours in soda. It survived a 4 story drop to concrete. I ran over it with my car. It is still working after a year.

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:39PM (#44833575) Homepage Journal

    Anything can fail so redundancy is key. Luckily, storage gets cheaper as my needs get greater. I now have most of my stuff on a pair of manually-mirrored 4 TB drives, recently purchased for $160 each. (Yeah, I'm a little compulsive about ripping media. But always carrying a phone that shoots multi-MB pictures and 1080 video eats space fast, too.)

    The only solid-state storage I have is in mobile devices. (And I still have my old disk-based iPod, dag nabbit.)

    • by rvw (755107)

      Anything can fail so redundancy is key. Luckily, storage gets cheaper as my needs get greater. I now have most of my stuff on a pair of manually-mirrored 4 TB drives, recently purchased for $160 each. (Yeah, I'm a little compulsive about ripping media. But always carrying a phone that shoots multi-MB pictures and 1080 video eats space fast, too.)

      The only solid-state storage I have is in mobile devices. (And I still have my old disk-based iPod, dag nabbit.)

      Same here. I have two 4TB drives for images and then several drives of smaller size, maybe 14TB total. Then I have several usb sticks, some sdcards, ipods, and all those combined are maybe around 100GB. Solid state is for temporary use, until it's transferred to my laptop.

  • by Steve Max (1235710) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:59PM (#44833827) Journal

    "More" as in "I have more data on it"? Or "More" as in "I use that storage medium more often"? Nowadays, most people use SSDs more often than spinning disks, on their tablets/smartphones; but they're more likely to have much more data on spinning media.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @04:23PM (#44834135)

    I have a rather substantial video game collection, as well as smaller but still non-trivial music and video collections. Storing it all on SSDs would cost me somewhere between two and three thousand dollars. And so I keep very few games on them - only those that really suffer from loading times (Skyrim, Far Cry 3/Blood Dragon, Civ 5, BF2 and UT3). Everything else is going on spinning rust, along with my user folders.

    Both of my main computers (primary desktop and laptop) have an SSD for the OS and for most programs (180GB and 120GB, respectively). They are coupled with high-speed hard drives for games and media storage (2TB and 750GB, respectively, although the desktop has another 2TB in various smaller drives).

    I'm not sure how to measure which is "used more". By capacity, it's clearly hard drives. However, by I/O usage, the SSDs might win out.

    Would I one day like to use pure solid-state? I think so. Adding the SSDs is the single biggest performance improvement I've ever done, and the power and noise decrease is nice. But I don't see it being cost-effective for me for at least another three or four years.

  • I moved all of my media (photos, video, files...) over to an NFS array (RAIDz2), and back that up to an ioSafe SoloPro. I boot and install apps on SSD.
    • Similar here. I found the performance of the RAIDz array smoothed out with a SSD ZIL drive. (Not the cache, the write-ahead log. The cache increased best-case performance, ZIL helped worst-case.) Most of even my tablet/laptop usage pulls data off the server, but the SSD boot drive on the desktop was a massive speedup, even if I mount the user data via NFS.

  • I wish I could afford to put all my data on SSDs.

    As I cannot afford that, / is on a SSD and /home is on a convention HDD.

    I would use a hybrid setup (where the SSD would just be a large cache for the HDD) if Ubuntu/Mint had an idiot-proof way of setting that up that would persist the next time I installed a new OS.

  • Like most, I boot from an SSD but use HDDs for storage and backups. Since my HDDs rarely spin up, are they in use? They're actively storing my data, but almost never perform any I/O. If just storing data counts as use, I have lots of old hard drives in my closet that I use the hell out of.
  • but I've got a few USB sticks lying about.

  • by GrBear (63712) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @07:14PM (#44835647)

    I've moved my computer entirely to SSD, and it's backed up nightly to my headless file server (6 HDD RAID 6 on an Ubuntu Server).

    To me its the best of both worlds. I keep all my media on the my server, and only keep my programs and games on my computer. Infact I run PLEX and Transmission torrent server off Ubuntu. If I want to download a torrent, I dump the .torrent file into a directory on my file server, and Tranmission automatically starts downloading it putting the completed download into a Completed directory for me. This leaves my primary computer free for gaming, surfing, etc.

  • They looks like a nice upgrade to a classic harddrive, not much more expensive with build-in 8GB flash cash for hot data. Seagate makes em in 500, 750 and 1000GB. Would be interesting to know if that cache would last long enough and if the drive still works if it fails. If 2x yes then that would be a darn good solution. I also saw a 60GB cache module somewhere. It can be used like a normal ssd, but when you hookup a harddrive to it, it acts as a cache to the hd. Can't find the link back anymore.
    • I've been thinking about getting one of those, but a mere 8GB cache seems inadequate. Does anyone with experience of these care to comment?

      • by necro81 (917438)

        I've been thinking about getting one of those, but a mere 8GB cache seems inadequate. Does anyone with experience of these care to comment

        I replaced the drive in my 5-year old laptop a few months ago with such a drive from Seagate. The hybrid was only about 15% more than a conventional drive of the same capacity. Doubling my disk space in the upgrade was nice. Going from a 5400 rpm to a 7200 rpm drive (at less power draw) was also very nice. Having the large flash cache has helped just about everythin

      • by jamesh (87723)

        I have a seagate momentus XT 500GB which I think has a 4GB cache. I've been using it for a year or two, and just noticed that smartctl says:

        184 End-to-End_Error 0x0032 092 092 099 Old_age Always FAILING_NOW 8

        so I guess it's worn out already and not using the cache anymore, assuming i'm reading that correctly.

        • by Wolfrider (856)

          --If I were you, I'd contact support and see if you can RMA it if that message really means that it's failing already; it should still be under warranty.

      • Depends on how it's used. Ideally, you want the read cache to be managed by your OS and in RAM, but it's quite rare in consumer uses to write more than a few hundred MB in a burst. Spinning disks suck at this if they're random reads, but a few GBs of non-volatile storage that you can use to buffer writes can give a big performance win. The drive can report that it's committed the data to persistent storage immediately and the data can be reordered into a pattern that minimises seeks (by the controller th
  • When I have a hard drive fail, I will think about replacing it with SSD. But I'm not going to spend money on them just to have bragging rights about boot time.

    One of my customers just bought a new custom built server, with HDDs for the data storage, mirrored 2TB drives. The OS drive is two 120GB SSD drives. Two months after buying it, one of the SSDs died, and messed up the image of the other preventing it from booting. Had to get the replacement drive from the guy who built it and reload Windows Server fr

    • by dejanc (1528235)
      It's not just boot time - all applications load "instantly", your IDE will start faster and searching through source code is much quicker on SSD, to name a few benefits.

      Most of us who use SSDs are willing to sacrifice reliability and storage space for speed. I have 3 SSD's in two laptops and one desktop machine and so far none failed, but I am prepared for any one of them to fail at any time. If it does, I'll readily buy a new one a replace it - because I feel their cost is justified by their speed. All
  • I disagree. I prefer my distortion to come from mp3 artifacts, even if they don't spin.
  • Have three desktop machines at home (Win 7, Win 8, Debian Linux) and all three have a single SSD and nothing else. Two are Corsair Force drives and the newest is a Samsung 840 Pro. Lightning fast - I'd never go back to HDDs.

    I think that SDDs being more failure prone is debatable these days. Some of the earlier ones were pretty unreliable, and I'd avoid OCZ like the plague, but other than that I don't think their failure rates are any worse than normal HDDs (which aren't exactly pillars of reliability to beg

  • I have a much larger percentage of my data on traditional HDDs, but my SSD has my most frequently accessed files, OS, and applications, so probably gets the highest proportion of reads/writes. So depending on the metric it could go either way.

  • I have Windows 8 on an SSD with sata III and my PC boots to the login screen before my monitor finishes turning on.
  • All of my computers boot and have their frequently used programs stored on SSDs, for maximum responsiveness. However all of my media is stored on a my server in an array of spinning WD Red drives (10TB, yeah baby!). With gigabit ethernet, I have no problems streaming the media as needed.

    Each type of storage has it's strong and weak points... the key is to use them appropriately.
  • I think most people are still using hard disks for large-scale primary storage for one reason: they're cheap. I can get a two terabyte Serial ATA Rev. 3.0 (600 MB/second data transfer rate) for just over US$100. Two terabytes of SSD storage would cost 12 to 20 times more expensive--yikes!

  • Washing machines and driers? They spin...

  • I've got 32 gigs each in my phone and tablet. And a variety of SD cards in various cameras. My gaming rig and two laptops have hybrid drives with 8 gigs of SSD each and various amounts of spinning storage. My media array has 14 2tb drives, none hybrids. My DVRs have 8tb of spinning drives. My old netbook has a 500 gig spinner. So I picked the first choice because, even if I include all of my flash media, solid state storage makes up a tiny percentage of my storage.

    But, what little solid state storage

  • SSD has matured when we're asking ourselves what we use spinning media for. the day has arrived :)

  • Me Linux Isos be needin' the vast capacity affored by ye spinnin' drives. Far better dubloon/GB ratio. That said, I be sailin' the seven seas o' tha intertron on me SSD. Arg.

Maternity pay? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry will get pregnant. -- Malcolm Smith


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