What is a Hard Disk Drive?
Your Hard Disk Drive is a vital component within your server, computer, or workstation as it is responsible for storing all of your data. This stored data includes that required by the system to function, as well as any data saved by the user. Unlike RAM, a HDD is a form of non-volatile memory and so stores your data even with the device powered off. In this article, we will talk you through the ins and outs of HDDs, the pros, cons, and any alternatives that you might want to consider in terms of drives.

What is a Hard Disk Drive and what does it do?

A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is a data storage device that can be used to store files for the operating system and software that run on a computer, as well as files created or downloaded to the computer by a user. They are a type of non-volatile memory, retaining stored data even when powered off. They enable data to be accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. This random access speeds up just how quickly your device can send and retrieve data and boosts device performance as a whole.
HDDs are essential for the efficient running and functionality of your device. The size of HDD you need is dependent on your device and independent requirements; if your device has to be able to run data-heavy applications or support multiple devices, it may be worth considering a more powerful, and more expensive, drive for your device.

How Does A HDD Work?

HDDs are connected to systems via a variety of interfaces such as SCSI, FC (Fibre Channel) SATA (Serial ATA), USB, or SAS (Serial attached SCSI). A typical HDD design includes a spindle that holds flat circular disks, also called platters, which hold the recorded data. Modern drives incorporate intelligent technology designed to correct errors before they cause harm called ECC (Error Correcting Code).

Solid State Drive vs Hard Disk Drive

Solid State Drives, or SSDs, are the other option for storing data within your device. The key difference between the two is that whilst HDDs consist of a lot of moving parts, with the platters spinning, SSDs are completely stationary. This does mean that SSDs are more durable and so you will find that they last longer, making them a good option for your system.
However, SSD technology cannot compete with HDDs in terms of the size of memory available. SSDs are also generally faster and more efficient than HDDs as, instead of retrieving data from spinning disks, they consist of a block of memory, meaning that data can be accessed easily and quickly.
SSDs currently cannot match the capacity of HDD technology, however, SSD size is rapidly increasing; they are becoming ever more popular for computer, server, and workstation systems. Find out more about SSDs here.
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