SSDs might be the defacto storage standard on laptops and gaming PCs, but spinning disk drives are still the predominant storage medium for datacenters. Predictions estimated that this behavior will stretch until 2028 when hard drive sales were predicted to fall in favor of SSDs. But a new report from Blocks and Files counters that prediction, estimating that hard drive sales will hold strong to 2028.
Blocks and Files reported on a forecast made by Coughlin Associates estimating that the current rise in SSD sales will have minimal impact on tape and HDD shipments. The main drivers behind this behavior include AI, the Internet of Things, media, entertainment, and the medical industries. Each of these increase demand for large capacity hard drives.
Two charts were shared, showing the annual projected growth of hard drives by form factor and hard drive shipments in terms of capacity. The former revealed that the growth of 3.5 inch hard drives and 2.5 inch hard drives combined were expected to accelerate from 150,000 units sold in 2024 to just over 200,000 in 2028. (The graph also projected 2.5 inch drives losing in popularity to 3.5 inch as well.)
The latter revealed an exponential growth in hard drive shipments, sorted by exabytes shipped. In 2022, roughly 1500 exabytes of hard drive capacity were shipped out, by 2028 Coughlin's projections estimate that number will grow by six times, amounting to 9000 exabytes shipped.
Coughlin also reported that it expects head and media demand to double by 2028 if the nearline-storage market recovers this year or early next year. Coughlin goes on to say that the growth of high-capacity nearline drives for enterprise and hyperscale applications will result in more drive components which will provide the biggest demand increase for heads and media. Nearline storage is a storage strategy that balances the line between offline archival storage and always-accessible online storage. Nearline hard drives are capable of being housed completely offline — detached from a computer but can be made available quickly without intervention by IT.
There are definitely merits to this report, previous hard drive projections that we covered did not cover the possible recovery of the Nearline storage market which could definitely extend hard drive dominance by several years. Nearline-capable systems don't need SSDs to perform well since data doesn't need to be accessed immediately like an always-on solution. The most important aspect of a near-line-storage system business will care about is the cost-per-gigabyte.
We've also encountered another storage-related report claiming that hard drives can use less power than SSDs under heavy-enough workloads. If this is true, this could also seriously extend the life of the hard drive industry even more.
But 2028 is still several years away, so we have to take any predictions with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, the growing amount of reports showing favorable market trends for hard drives could spell the delayed domination of SSDs until the 2030s or longer.
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"claiming that hard drives can use less power than SSDs under heavy-enough workloads"Reply
is that due to an SSD getting the job done vastly faster and drawing a higher peak than an HDD which chugs along with a modest power draw? It would be revealing to see the total watts power used over a job's lifetime rather than - perhaps - a peak watts power draw.
For cold storage in a datacenter I imagine HDD will be around long past 2028. High performance applications will for sure switch to SSD (most likely have already) but for long term storage HDD still makes more sense on a cost biases.Reply
the cheapest 1Tb SSD already cost the same as the cheapest 1Tb HDDReply
Blocks and Files reported on a forecast made by Coughlin Associates estimating that the current rise in SSD sales will have minimal impact on tape and HDD shipments.
I don't think anyone with a brainstem needs to read a report to see that. SSDs just cost too much for capacities exceeding 2TB, a situation not improving since manufacturers are bent on being faster instead of improving cost/GB, and even if they did work towards that achieving the same price density just can't happen until some successor of NAND is put on the market.
vehekos said:the cheapest 1Tb SSD already cost the same as the cheapest 1Tb HDD
We're talking about bulk storage here.
Compare, say, 10TB HDD (around $200) with 10TB SSD, or 20TB HDD (US$350ish) with 20TB SSD. There's a huge price difference.
Although - at least for QLC - there are 8TB QLCs starting at about US$350 - Samsung 870 QVO. TLC's seem to be more like about US$1k for 8TBs though, and anything bigger (next size up in SSDs after a quick newegg and amazon search) 12TB SSDs are US$1k plus for what looks like QLC drives, with TLC higher than that.
20TB SSDs seem to be US$2k+, about 6x cost of HDDs.
Well yeah, until SSDs can match HDDs in price-per-gig there will still always be a place for HDDs. You don't really need SSD's access speeds for many things that tend to take up large amounts of space like video, backup images, photos (photos taken when actual cameras and not phones can take up quite a lot of space), music libraries, etc that HDDs are great for.Reply
And even then, there is the issue of long-term cold storage. NAND can lose it's storage if not powered on every now and then. The time varies greatly, some as short as 6 months (though that's an extreme) to a few years, but I have had several SD cards that I had not used in years erase themselves. HDDs meanwhile I have had ones nearly two decades old still have all their data when I booted them up again. We are rapidly losing options for long term data storage/backups for consumer use lately.
vehekos said:the cheapest 1Tb SSD already cost the same as the cheapest 1Tb HDD
That's because buying something as low-end as a 1TB HDD is horribly price ineffective, once something gets old/obsolete enough like that prices start to go up due to it's lower profit margins. It generally costs an extra $2-5ish for a 2TB model of that same 1TB harddrive. Compare the price of a 4TB NVME however, those are around $170-200 right now. For $180-200 you can get a 10TB HDD. And that is WITH the rapidly dropping SSD prices, 4TB SSDs were nearly double that around a year ago.
Nobody buying a HDD today is buying something as small as 1TB, they are for large amounts of storage that don't need fast access speeds.
That study didn't seem to account for the lower duty-cycle of SSDs, though. It mainly hinged on the fact that datacenter SSDs burn lots of power, even when they're idling.Nine Layer Nige said:"claiming that hard drives can use less power than SSDs under heavy-enough workloads"
is that due to an SSD getting the job done vastly faster and drawing a higher peak than an HDD which chugs along with a modest power draw?
The study is somewhat suspect, in both its methodology and the degree of independence of the firm which published it. The article you linked contains the data they used.
Okay, but when you buy a hard drive, you're paying for a sturdy metal case, motor, actuators, spindle, precision bearings, and drive electronics. All of these are fixed overheads, no matter how big the drive is. The main difference between lower and higher-capacity drives is just more platters and heads. So, HDDs scale up better in cost than SSDs.vehekos said:the cheapest 1Tb SSD already cost the same as the cheapest 1Tb HDD
For SSDs, the main cost is in the NAND chips. That's why their prices are somewhat more linear with capacity, especially towards the upper end of the scale.
Therefore, the better point of comparison is at the high end of the capacity scale, and this is also more relevant for datacenters, as they're buying the big SSDs and HDDs.
Alvar Miles Udell said:a situation not improving since manufacturers are bent on being faster instead of improving cost/GB, and even if they did work towards that achieving the same price density just can't happen until some successor of NAND is put on the market.
Well situation is getting "better" We get "worse and worse" SSD that save more info in the same space.
But the hard drive is mechanical device so the hardware cost is beginning heavy, while in SSD the price is more linear.
An SSD may save one a few nanoseconds in read/write action but they have one huge drawback. From experience, if a SSD craps out there is pretty much no way to recover the now lost data. If a HDD craps outs, there are numerous tools and shops that can recover most if not all the lost data.Admin said:A new report from Coughlin Associates predicts that SSDs will not replace hard drives in the next several years. Instead hard drives will continue to hold strong demand due to a predicted recovery in the nearline-storage market.
SSDs Will Not Replace Hard Drives For Several Years: Report : Read more