Build servers offline due to failed SSD

Todd Doucet ttd at
Mon Mar 8 01:30:45 UTC 2021

I think one can only get so far with purely qualitative analysis of the characteristics of SSDs and HDs and then the end of that analysis will be one-size-fits all advice, for example "recommended" or "not recommended" for servers.

Surely the answer might vary depending on the particular server usage pattern, the need for performance, the cost of routine maintenance (swapping out aging drives or SSDs), the cost of the devices themselves, etc.

It seems to me that a given server operator can tell how long a particular SSD is likely to last.  They do not fail randomly, at least not very much.  The fail when they are "used up" and you can figure out well in advance, usually, when you will need to swap the old ones out of service.

HDs fail also, obviously, but tend not to be so predictable about it.  Whether it makes sense for a given server to use an SSD really does depend on the numbers.  All drives will fail.  All drives will need to be rotated out of service.  It is a matter of cost, convenience, and performance.

The only caveat I can think of is that there might be an issue of malicious use--a server with SSDs might be vulnerable to a wear attack, depending on the server services offered, I suppose.

> To emphasize again, the reason SSDs aren’t recommended for servers is because servers—by definition—see much heavier service, and these read/write cycles are used up more quickly.
> For personal use in a PC, or such, SSDs are proving to be the dream they were promised to be.
> As mentioned, given time, the technology will overcome this limitation for use in servers and these comments will be just so much past history.
> Dave C.
> - - - 
> > The “on/off” switches in SSD’s are fragile and essentially break after too many read/write cycles.  As pointed out, it’s a get what you pay for world and cheap SSD’s are just that… cheap.   The expensive ones are more reliable because they actually make available only a portion of their total capacity, reserving the rest as replacements for such failures.  Intelligent software within the firmware manages this so that the end user experiences a much longer device lifespan.
> > 
> > There’s lots of technical documentation for such.  Google knows.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > 
> > 
> >>> On Mar 7, 2021, at 18:15, Michael A. Leonetti via macports-users <macports-users at> wrote:
> >> I’d really love to know more about what you’re saying here. Up until I just read what you wrote, I thought SSDs were the savior of HDDs.
> >> Michael A. Leonetti
> >> As warm as green tea
> >>> 3/7/21 午後5:26、Dave Horsfall <dave at>のメール:
> >>> On Sat, 6 Mar 2021, Dave C via macports-users wrote:
> >>>> Isn’t SSD a bad choice for server duty? No server farms use them, apparently due to short lifespan.
> >>> If you knew how SSDs worked then you wouldn't use them at all without many backups.  Give me spinning rust any day...
> >>> -- Dave
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