Is SSD in your future IT plan?

If you were told that an SSD and a hard drive were the same price, which would you buy?

That’s going to be the dilemma facing IT buyers sometime in 2016, according to the industry expert Jim O’Reilly. Between SSD and HDD. I think you know the answer.

HDD has been the storage of choice for computer and server for as long as my IT career. It has increased storage capacity many times since 1985, from 40MB to 4TB, from IDE to SATA, from SCSI to SAS, and yes, performance has increased too, but no where close to other components such as CPU, memory, and the main board. HDD has become the bottleneck of today’s computer and server. SSD has become the best alternative for those who demand for system performance.

SSD offers the performance you want, but not the price point and storage capacity you have expected. This will change soon. The advent of 3D NAND has become a game-changer for the storage industry by increasing SSD capacity and dropping SSD prices.

3D NAND will allow SSDs to increase capacity well beyond HDD sizes. The result of the density increase is clear. Many industry experts believe that SSDs will nearly catch up to HDD in capacity in late 2015. Meanwhile, hard drives appear to be stuck at 10 TB capacity, and the technology to move beyond that size is going to be expensive once it’s perfected. HDD capacity curves already were flattening, and the next steps are likely to take some time.

This all means that SSDs will surpass HDDs in capacity in 2016. There’s even serious talk of 30TB solid-state drives in 2018.

So what about SSD price points? In 2014, prices for high-end consumer SSDs dropped below enterprise-class HDD in the US, and continued to drop through the year in 2015. This is before 3D NAND begins to further cut prices. By the end of 2016, it’s a safe bet that price parity will be close, if not already achieved, between consumer SSDs and the SATA drives.

With parity achieved in capacity and price, one has to ask whether HDDs will still be needed.  SSDs are blindingly fast in comparison. Typically, large consumer SSDs are 5x the streaming performance and 5000x the random read/write rate. With low operating power and very low standby power, SSDs are ideal for large archives, too.

Once parity is achieved, the transition to SSDs will become a trend. This transition is already well along for enterprise drives. With price and capacity already matched or exceeded by SSDs, 7200 RPM and faster HDDs will quickly fall out of favor.

Until then, expect a big change in your data storage requirement in the very near future.


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