What is Flash Storage?
Flash storage is a data storage technology based on high-speed, electrically programmable memory. The speed of flash storage is how got its name: It writes data and performs random I/O operations in a flash.
Flash storage uses a type of nonvolatile memory called flash memory. Nonvolatile memory doesn’t require power to maintain the integrity of stored data, so even if your power goes out, you don’t lose your data. In other words, nonvolatile memory won’t “forget” the data it has stored when the disk is turned off.
Flash storage uses memory cells to store data. Cells with previously written data must be erased before new data can be written. Flash storage can also come in several forms, from simple USB sticks to enterprise all-flash arrays.
SSD versus HDD
Because it uses integrated circuit technology, flash storage is a solid-state technology, meaning it has no moving parts. When flash technology is used for enterprise storage, the term flash drive or flash array is often used interchangeably with solid-state drive (SSD).
SSD technology contrasts with hard disk drive (HDD) technology—the other major type of computer storage, which has been in place since the 1950s. In contrast to SSDs, HDD storage relies on spinning disks, motors, and read/write heads, using magnetism to store data on a rotating platter.