SSD not dominating storage market yet

The buzz around Storage Expo this year may be about SSD, but a number of executives think we have a while to wait before it becomes mainstream.

SSD technology

Although the adoption of solid state disk (SSD) is growing, it still has a way to go before it dominates the market.

This was the conclusion drawn by a panel of executives at Storage Expo today, chaired by Carla Arend of IDC, discussing the future of storage technologies.

Adam Thew, UK business manager for HP Storageworks, said: "We view SSD as the highest performance at IO level for storage [but] it comes with a price."

"Like all tech, cost will come down as adoption increases but I think its a long way off before solid state takes over a large amount of what we see," he added. "I don't even think in the next five years we will see it take over but we will definitely see it growing."

Hubert Yoshida, vice president and chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems agreed with Thew, calling the price of SSDs its "main inhibitor."

"For random reads it is fantastic, as you get 40 times more than the spinning disks," Yoshida said. "Power consumption is also half of what you would have now which is incredible."

"You hear people talking about Moore's Law, that price is driven down by increased adoption, but the core thing is volumes in enterprise storage. When you have an iPhone product and you can sell millions cost will come down but today when you can only put two disks on a back end bus, there is a limit on volume."

Yoshida was more positive about the future of SSDs, but still saw a long wait before the technology comes out on top.

"I think [if] in the next five years we could get onto two or three times the price of spinning disks then we will see more acceptance," he said.

Referring to SSD as the "new kid on the block," Arend agreed that the technology itself was superior but only for certain aspects of a business' data.

"SDD may solve problems for structured data and high IO systems but it might not help with unstructured data," she added.

"[It is] really important to understand what type of data you have before you implement new technology," she concluded.

Click here for more news from Storage Expo 2009.

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