It’s a secret to no one that over the last couple of years, solid-state storage has become a serious force in the storage market. No straight-thinking person would suggest anything other than an SSD as your primary storage device (for OS install), as its increased throughput, much reduced latency and superior operations-per-second performance does make a considerable difference in boot times, app load times, and so forth.
But, that doesn’t mean that traditional magnetic storage is done for, and there’s no evidence to suggest that things could change in the years ahead. The only real downside to solid-state storage is its price. We’re now at a point where it’s easy to find an SSD priced at about $0.80 per GB, which is good, but that doesn’t quite compete to a drive like Seagate’s Desktop HDD.15 4TB which costs about $0.05 per GB.
Years ago, magnetic storage was appropriate for both OS + storage because there was no other option. Today, hard drives have shifted focus to storage only, as for the reasons laid-out above, they’re no-longer the best option for the OS. Even on the notebook side, SSHDs have come into play, where you still get the storage you crave, but speed-boosts thanks to SSD-quality caching. It’s this kind of storage that some hard drive vendors want people to realize the importance of.
Today, HGST, Seagate, Toshiba and WD have jointly announced the ‘Storage Products Association‘, a nonprofit based in California focused on promoting magnetic storage. On its site, there’s no mention of solid-state drives at all, except for the hybrid SSHD. At this site, users and industry alike can go and read up on the benefits of this type of storage, helping to promote with facts like this:
And this: “Where is your data? There’s a 95% chance it’s on hard drives.“
Again, because SSD technology remains much more expensive than magnetic storage, it’s unlikely that the traditional hard drive has anything to worry about, and chances are, this will always remain the case. As SSDs grow in storage, so should our hard drives.
The next couple of years are going to be interesting, though, just like the past couple have been. SSD technology is still on fire, with innovation occurring all the time, and likewise, we’re bound to see the first 5TB hard drive soon. And it’s a good thing; I’m running out of space.