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Need for speed drives India’s appetite for SSDs

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By Sunil Chandna – Founder & CEO, Stellar Data Recovery

The global perception of India is that of a highly price-sensitive market. However, millennials and Gen-Zs’ purchase behavior defies this. Consider the case of storage media: hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs).

Sunil Chandna

How are HDDs and SSDs different?
HDDs and SSDs are two types of devices used for storing data in computers. HDDs are like old record players that use spinning disks to read and write data. SSDs, on the other hand, have no moving parts and use memory chips to store data.

SSDs are replacing HDDs

The storage cost of a hard drive is about 2.5 paise/GB. That of an SSD is 7 paise/GB. Still, the SSD market is outpacing the HDD market. According to CMR’s India Hard Drive Market Review for CY2022, the India Consumer Internal SSD market (SATA & NVMe) market shipments increased by 32% YoY in Q4 CY2022. The overall market also registered a remarkable 80% YoY growth for the whole year CY2022. As per ResearchAndMarkets, the global SSD estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15.0% from 2022 to 2029, with India driving this growth. The demand for SSD cards has surged worldwide post-pandemic, with India alone seeing a record 172% growth in 2021, driving the global enterprise SSD market to reach $46.89 billion by 2030. Dell, HP, and Lenovo are increasingly offering SSDs as a default storage option in their devices.

SSDs: The choice of a young, digital India

If it’s fast, secure, and offers massive storage, India wants it. Think of an SSD as a really fast race car that can carry lots of people at once, while an HDD is like a slow and bulky bus. Even though the race car costs more, it can get you where you need to go much faster and more efficiently than the bus.

Furthermore, SSDs are more energy-efficient, generate less heat, and are more durable than traditional HDDs. So it’s like a shapeshifting, super-efficient racecar.

The COVID-19 pandemic made millions of Indians rely on advanced home computing. Similarly, lakhs of SMBs accelerated their digital journeys by decades. SSDs were the obvious choice. For millions of Indians living in Tier-III cities and suburban areas, where Internet connectivity is unreliable, SSDs offer a reliable storage solution.

SSDs and risks of data loss

While SSDs offer many advantages over HDDs, data loss remains a concern. In 2011, I remember being deluged by calls for data recovery, when many Intel SSDs crashed. In 2020, thousands of Western Digital SSDs went dysfunctional because of a bug.
We experienced a spate of anxious calls from users of SSDs based on Samsung’s 980 Pro, which died suddenly. These are only a few incidents of SSD data loss. Not only enterprises and governments but also SMBs and individual users need to understand the basics of data stewardship and data recovery for SSDs.

What causes SSD data loss?

Some of the most common causes of SSD data loss are:

Power Surges, a power surge can damage the circuit board of an SSD, causing data loss. Firmware Corruption, firmware is the software that controls an SSD. If the firmware becomes corrupted, the SSD may fail, causing data loss; Cell Degradation: SSDs use flash memory to store data. Over time, the cells that make up the flash memory can degrade, causing data loss; Human Error: Accidental deletion or formatting of an SSD is a common cause of data loss; Encryption: Encryption is a security measure used to protect data. If the encryption key is lost, the data may become inaccessible; Physical Damage: Physical damage to an SSD, such as dropping it or exposing it to extreme temperatures, can cause data loss.

How to recover lost data from SSD?

In most cases, your SSD data is recoverable. A DIY data recovery software may be good enough if you accidentally remove any data and want it back. Data recovery experts recommend that you only use SSD data recovery software from a brand whose reputation you can trust. The first response to a malfunctioning SSD is crucial. Erratic troubleshooting can cause permanent data loss. In more complex cases, like physical damage to the chipset, your best recourse is a professional data recovery service. The service lifecycle of such a service spans 5 stages.

Initial evaluation: Examine the physical condition of the drive, check for firmware or software issues, and analysing error messages or other symptoms.
Imaging: Create a sector-by-sector image of the drive.
Repair and recovery: Repairing firmware issues, replacing damaged components, or bypassing encryption or other security measures.
Verification: checking the recovered files for errors or inconsistencies and comparing them to backups or other sources of the same data.
Delivery: transferring the data to a new drive, delivering it via a secure cloud-based service, or providing it on physical media such as a USB drive or DVD.

How to prevent SSD data loss?

We’ve seen a 109% increase in SSD data recovery queries YoY for the last 3 years. In most cases, the loss was preventable. While data loss from SSDs is a concern, there are several steps that Indian users can take to prevent it. Some include: Backing up your data regularly, using an SSD from a reputable manufacturer, avoiding physical damage, keeping your SSD cool and seeking help from data recovery professionals in case of data loss

The shift towards SSDs as the preferred storage media is here to stay. While data loss is a concern, data recovery companies that specialise in SSD data recovery can help recover data from failed SSDs. It’s also important for Indian users to take proactive measures to prevent data loss from SSDs, such as regular backups and proper handling of their SSDs.

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