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August 14, 2013

The Cloud Kills the Hard Drive? New Storage Group Begs to Differ

By Doug Barney, TMCnet Editor at Large

Lately, a great portion of MSP Today has been filled with talk of cloud storage. Enterprise storage is moving inexorably to the cloud, and more personal data is held there as well. Just look at Microsoft (News - Alert) Surface RT which only comes with 32 or 64GB of storage.

So, where does this leave our friend the hard drive? It is still in the driver’s seat, believes the newly formed Storage Products Association (SPA) with founding members Seagate (News - Alert), Toshiba, WD and HGST.

The cloud is more friend than enemy to the disk drive market, the group believes. “Cloud services, Internet content providers, social networks, mobile devices, big data and enterprise business transactions are driving the need for reliable, high-performance and high-capacity storage, delivering the best total cost of ownership,” noted Sachin Piplani, director of product marketing, HGST. “We estimate that more than 75 percent of exabytes in 2020 will be stored on hard drives as they provide the best cost-per-GB-performance ratio of any storage medium on the market today and tomorrow.”

Image via Shutterstock

Surely cloud and MSPs need disk drives upon which to store data. But the service provider market is based on large capacity drives and as it takes hold, one would assume the demand for personal hard drives and corporate drives will shrink. If a company backs up to the cloud, they no longer need so many in-house arrays.

One analyst sees a bright drive future, especially as new technologies come onboard.

“HDDs are a crucial technology for storing the ever-expanding data that humans and our machines are generating. Hard disk drives combined with flash memory can provide users the speed they need while providing affordable mass storage. With continued development of advanced storage technology and storage architectures, these amazing storage devices will provide a home for the world's accessible data and serve every type of content users for many years to come,” said Tom Coughlin, president of storage industry analyst firm Coughlin Associates.

SPA Game Plan

The SPA was founded to help “storage manufacturers and users understand and support current and future storagetrends and advancements, including the key role of hard disk drives(HDDs) and solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs), in an effective storage mix for all consumer and businessenvironments. SSHDs combine a small, fast and affordable amount of NAND flash memory with a traditional hard drive to accelerate performance without sacrificing capacity,” the group said.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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