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FAQs of Storage Products

The FAQs below contain answers to the most common questions regarding Toshiba's bare SSD, SSHD, and HDD. If you would like to find information about Toshiba's Consumer Storage Solutions such as external HDD, please check the global portal page and select the region to find the regional web page for such products.

SSD

  • What are Solid State Drives (SSDs)?

    SSDs are based on the use of semiconductor NAND flash memory technology (a non-volatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data) and are available in the same form factor, interface style and capacity size as the traditional HDDs that are based on the use of rotating media platter.

  • What are the advantages of SSD over HDD?

    Because SSDs have no mechanical moving parts, the performance of the device is restricted only by the electrical characteristics and the time to access the addressed data. This in turn is governed by the design overheads of the device and its addressing/mapping algorithms to the NAND flash memory. In contrast, data access performance in HDDs is determined by the quickness of movement of electromechanical components to position a read/write head over a defined area on a rotating disk. In addition, with SSDs having no moving parts, this enhances the ruggedness and tolerance to external environmental forces such as vibration/shock.

  • Are SSDs a direct replacement technology for HDDs?

    There is a definite market opportunity for the performance and reliability advantages of SSDs. However, we expect SSDs to coexist with HDDs for the future because there is a role for both storage technologies depending on the application environment and expectation. SSDs are seen as HDDs but much faster, providing fantastic IOPS (Input/output Operations Per Second) performance in comparison. It effectively emulates HDDs in terms of its responses and provides the same or greater specification interface to the host bus adaptor (HBA). In terms of error reporting the construct of SSDs differs to that of HDDs, and certain features and error processing will become redundant. But where possible, compatible error codes are emulated to maintain alignment with existing software tooling and support services. Furthermore, certain commands favor the design of HDDs as opposed to SSDs, so either these commands are rejected where not applicable or an emulated response is provided to satisfy device drivers and management software to avoid unnecessary system error logging where OSs do not reflect support for current device types. Current interface data rates are 6 Gbit*/s for SATA products, and 12 Gbit/s (Max.) for SAS products.

    In the end, Toshiba sees HDDs and SSDs as critical storage solutions with long term viability and attributes specific to different applications.

    *: A gigabit (Gbit) as 109 bits.

  • How long will SSDs last in comparison to HDDs?

    HDD longevity is determined by the wear of the mechanical components and its ability to maintain the highly accurate control associated with intricate movement. This can also be directly linked with the operational environment HDDs are expected to perform within, and this influence can act as an accelerator to drive degradation over time. The actual field life of HDDs can easily surpass its warranty period if the drive is installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer's design specifications and is independent of the number of write/read operations. Conversely, SSD technology does place a restriction on the number of write/erase cycles applied to each memory cell as these degrade over time and use. SSD specification generally states a total data capacity that can be written to SSDs before they are worn out and the management of cell life and the re-assignment of data are core technologies to SSDs.

  • What are the strong points of Toshiba's SSDs?

    Toshiba can provide the trustworthy product based on NAND control technology amassed as an inventor and a manufacturer of flash memory, and matured storage know-how accumulated as an experienced HDD manufacturer.

  • What form factors and capacity size are available?

    Generally, the form factor (FF) of SSDs has been designed to duplicate or enhance those offered by 2.5-inch HDDs. This is for pure compatibility reasons where the design specification of PC, array or server chassis dictates certain z-height maximums (x=width, y=length). This also applies to indirect mounting using a tray or hot-swap drive carrier. In addition to the 2.5-inch FF, the models in smaller FF are now available. Currently, Toshiba's SSD model designs offer 15mm, 9.5mm and 7mm z-height in 2.5-inch FF options to maintain direct HDD interchangeability, or in smaller mSATA and M.2 FF which are suitable for the smaller system design.

  • Can I mix SSDs and HDDs as RAID elements?

    SSDs can be applied to the same design applications as those currently involving HDDs. Where SSDs are used as the replacement devices for existing HDD installations to achieve improved performance, care should be taken to ensure that no system bottlenecks are likely to impede the expected performance increase due to legacy specification restrictions. Mixing HDDs and SSDs as RAID elements is unlikely to achieve the positive technology performance enhancements associated with SSDs, as the RAID controller and drive command completion times will be driven by the slowest element. In this case, if the application involves striping data, the HDD element will be the controlling factor on overall performance.

  • How much does SSD cost to buy?

    Please contact your Toshiba sales representative for pricing information.

  • What are SLC NAND flash Memory (NAND), MLC NAND, and TLC NAND? And what are the benefits for each of them?

    Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND list performance and memory cell longevity as positive design features, whereas capacity range and price ($ per GB) are generally regarded as the negative gating factors.

    Multi-Level Cell (MLC) and Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND list capacity range and price ($ per GB) as the positive design features, whereas memory cell longevity and performance are generally regarded as negative gating factors.

    Please also refer to the description about SSDs in "Trends & Technology" section.

  • What are the performance levels of MLC NAND flash memory (NAND) and/or TLC NAND as compared to SLC NAND?

    SLC NAND flash memory has the fastest transfer rate and lowest power consumption among these three types of NAND flash memory although MLC/TLC flash memories have the advantages to enable higher density than SLC NAND flash memory and provide more cost-effectiveness into SSD.

  • Where are Client SSDs and Enterprise SSDs commonly found in today's computing environments/applications?

    Client SSDs are mainly used in mobile computing devices such as tablets, laptops and camcorders. They also start to be introduced as read intensive SSDs in data center application.
    With the cost of Enterprise SSDs (eSSDs) still commanding a premium price, applications for this technology is growing but still niche in the number of applications which make the performance vs. cost and combining enterprise data reliability/integrity a prerequisite. In the enterprise sector, eSSDs form the pinnacle of performance storage and as such is regarded as Tier0 within the tiered storage system model. Extreme performance within transactional processing environments may drive the use of eSSDs as RAID elements, but this is still the exception rather than the norm. More commonly an eSSD device is used as a cache accelerator element fronting a storage array under the control of advanced file system and storage managers to provide uplift in overall HDDs based array storage performance.

  • Where can I buy Toshiba SSDs? What is the warranty system for Toshiba SSDs?

    As for the purchase, please refer to FAQ-Purchase.

    Regarding the warranty system, please refer to the section of "Warranty Support".

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