I'm not actually all that much of a storage guy, and while I'm the top-level kernel maintainer, this is likely a question that would be better asked of a number of other people.
The one (personal) thing storage-related that I'd like to re-iterate is that I think that rotating storage is going the way of the dodo (or the tape). "How do I hate thee, let me count the ways". The latencies of rotational storage are horrendous, and I personally refuse to use a machine that has those nasty platters of spinning rust in them.
Sure, maybe those rotating platters are ok in some NAS box that you keep your big media files on (or in that cloud storage cluster you use, and where the network latencies make the disk latencies be secondary), but in an actual computer? Ugh. "Get thee behind me, Satan".
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Can anyone recommend a decent SSD (SATA2)? I am considering crucial m4.
This is entirely anecdotal, and by no means a smear against Crucial I put a Crucial into my laptop the day before departing on a 3 month business trip to Europe last year.
By the time I got to London, the drive had failed utterly and completely. Thankfully, I had stuffed my previous drive into my bag with me and was able to recover.
I replaced it with the OCZ ( It amuses me that my time in London has made me hear that in my head as "Oh Cee Zed" ... I believe they have an even better Vertex 4 now ) and it has been a rock solid workhorse.
I've since hauled that laptop + drive over about 120k miles and 15 countries without so much as a blip.
Again, anecdotal but I adore this drive.
if it blows up, they're pretty good on warranties and I've got two laptops and rsync jobs set up so no big deal.
Just to add I modified the order to include an additional Samsung 830 128Gb as a backup which will go in my spare laptop.
I was rather expecting things to be more expensive!
Luckily had weekly backups, so only lost one week's worth of data, but still.
This kinda soured me against trying any new OCZ...
Now I have an Intel SSD; pricier, but well worth it.
Managed to persuade company to pay for it as well as I'm being a guinea pig user :)
This is on a 2-year-old, run-of-the-mill Dell laptop. Maybe there's something funny about my laptop's hardware but it's been running without so much as a sneeze for 2 years now with its old "spinning rust" 640GB HDD.
SSD's are still early-adopter technology. I'm waiting another year before I try again, and when I do I'm keeping the former HDD at my side just in case.
There's no reason at all to extrapolate from personal experience.
Part of that understanding comes from an anecdote related by a contractor I knew that did government work. Supposedly some departments will use solid-state disks for the "cannot lose" data for which availability is less important because the disks will eventually become unwritable and at that point just become archives.
It is still worth it, but I have never experienced a failure mode like that with harddisks. Usually you can get most of the data off of them when you start getting errors.