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Use Cases#

Ultimately at this point all you need to know is HDDs are a powerhouse of storage and the most cost effective way of storing large volumes of data you need constant access to. SSDs on the other hand cannot offer the same storage to price ratio, but they're insanely fast compared to HDDs.

When we're working with Cloud and virtualisation technologies we need to determine what option is best for the use case. This is highly subjective but I've created a table below that covers some simple use cases and which drive you'd choose:

Use Case Storage Need speed? Drive Type
Database 15GB Yes SSD
Photo storage 3,000GB No HDD
Website hosting 100MB No SSD

So we've got three use cases there: a database, a storage for a lot of photographs and a simple website.

With a database you tend not to have massive volumes of data unless you're talking about big data or data lakes, which are in a league of their own and have special requirements. The average database backing most business websites is small, usually well less than 30GB in most cases. Because the size requirements are so small and ideally you want to extract data as quickly as possible, an SSD is ideal.

With the photograph storage option we have a lot of data to contend with. This means an HDD is better as an SSD to store 3TBs of data would simply be too expensive for the average use case.

Websites and the code that make them up tend to be very small. I've gone with 100MB here which is likely over kill. That being said notice how I've said speed isn't important but I've suggested an SSD? That's because an SSD that can support a 100MB or 1GB website code base may as well use an SSD. At that scale, that size, why not? The price won't be much more than an HDD but you gain all the speed advantages of an SSD.