How Fast is the SSD Market Growing
Each year Intel, AMD and other chip manufacturers release new, faster CPUs with more cores and more cache. Disk-based storage can’t say the same.
While there are incremental changes, those improvements aren’t enough to match with the rest of the IT infrastructure. Now, disk drives do keep increasing their capacity, with 4TB drives now available, but for speed manufacturers and users are switching to Solid State Drives (SSD).
“Traditional disk technology has not kept pace with CPU technology, resulting in a significant performance gap between storage and computing,” said Dan Iacono, Research Director, Storage Systems for IDC. “This shortfall in performance presents a huge opportunity for solid state storage to fill the void in terms of both input/output operations per second (IOPS) and latency.”
SSD Market Growth
As a result, the SSD market growth is outstripping that of hard disk drives. According to storage analyst firm Trendfocus, 12.06 million client SSDs were sold in the first quarter of this year, a 19% improvement over the previous quarter, and enterprise SSDs were up 66% to 1.22 million units. Trendfocus predicts a 53% growth rate for the current year in the client market and 14% in the enterprise market. The growth would probably be much greater, except for constraints in the supply of NAND flash memory driving up prices. The spot market prices for 256GB SSDs had risen from $145 in January to $227 in May. 128GB SSD prices had nearly doubled during that time from $75 to $140.
Much of that growth at the consumer level is driven by the rise of SSD-only ultrabooks. iSuppli predicts a similar 50% growth rate for the consumer market. “SSDs remain a bright spot in the storage world,” wrote iSuppli analysts Fang Zhang and Ryan Chien, who predict the SSD market will rise to $20 billion by 2016, while the HDD market will decrease slightly.
Enterprise SSD Deployment
In the enterprise space, SSD use is also rising, but only in strategic applications where speed rather than capacity is the main consideration and it makes economic sense to pay extra for flash or SSDs. The rise of big data and in-memory analytics is one such space, and other uses are also typically database related.
In most cases, the SSDs are used as the highest level of a multi-tier storage system, but there is enough of a market for solid-state only enterprise systems for IDC to start tracking it as a separate market. In its first report on the market, Worldwide Enterprise All-Solid State Storage Array 2013-2016 Forecast, IDC projects $1.2 billion in revenues by 2015. Although solid-state storage will still be more expensive on a dollar per gigabyte basis, “price performance metrics, such as dollar per IOP ($/IOP) and dollar per workload ($/workload) are holding more weight.”
SSD Use in Enterprise Cloud Backup & DR
For faster disaster recovery, Zetta is already ahead of the SSD trend. While some backup vendors rely on disk storage, which slows down recovery times, Zetta Data Protection’s recovery requests are served from SSD or flash memory – to save our customers critical time when recovering data.