One of the common refrains about using CompactFlash as a hard disk replacement is that it has a limited number of “writes” (reads don’t impact lifespan). This is a major concern for a potential Zonbu owner. Is that card going to burn out in the next year or two?
I’ve done some Internet research, and while “don’t use it in a high frequency write environment as it will ‘burn out’ the card” is a common refrain, I could not find any hard statistics on the lifespan of modern cards. Thankfully, it looks like the Zonbu team has done some testing in this regard…
This would have been the case a few year ago. Modern CF cards controllers implement block rotation in hardware, which means that the swap is not always written on the same blocks.
We evaluated that it would take 10 years continuously writing on the card before the failure risk becomes significant.
Zonbu Engineering Team
While I have to say that I feel better hearing that, I find it a bit strange that no one from the CF industry has that kind of info on their site.
Conservatively, I’m planning on a 3 year lifespan for the cards I’m using in servers at the office. 10 seems a bit optimistic, but maybe I’m just cautious…