Flash Executive Predicts HDDs Will No Longer Be Sold after 2028: “We Are At the End of That Era”

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Image: Synology/Seagate

Some people have begun promoting the idea that hard drives will go extinct in just a few years. Speaking to Blocks & Files, Shawn Rosemarin, Vice President of R&D within the Customer Engineering unit at Pure Storage, a flash memory company, gave some of his predictions about the future of storage, making the bold claim that no more hard drives will be sold after 2028. Rosemarin believes that the demise of HDDs is inevitable because of their higher electricity demands, which don’t mesh with the quotas that more and more countries are apparently setting, among other reasons.

“Our CEO in many recent events has quoted that 3 percent of the world’s power is in datacenters. Roughly a third of that is storage. Almost all of that is spinning disk. So if I can eliminate the spinning disk, and I can move to flash, and I can in essence reduce the power consumption by 80 or 90 percent while moving density by orders of magnitude in an environment where NAND pricing continues to fall, it’s all becoming evident that hard drives go away,” Rosemarin said.

“We’re already seeing countries putting quotas on electricity, and this is a really important one… we’ve already seen major hyperscalers such as one last summer who tried to enter Ireland [and] was told you can’t come here, we don’t have enough power for you.”

“Today, it’s economically unfeasible for many customers to run their entire estate in hard drives. But it’ll actually become impossible. You’ll actually be limited from a density and power consumption perspective of how much data you can actually support. Now (CIOs) go to your organization and say that, based on our power footprint, or allocation or quota, these are the projects I can support. And you now need to constrain how much data you consume or how much data you need.”

From a Block & Files post:

HDD vendors sing a different tune, of course. Back in 2021, HDD vendor Seagate said the SSD most certainly would not kill disk drives. There’s a VAST vs Infinidat angle to it as well, with the former also stating disk drive IO limitations would cripple the use of larger disk drives in petabyte-scale data stores, with Infidat blasting back that it “must be joking.”  Gartner has had a look in too, claiming that enterprise SSDs will hit 35 percent of HDD/SSD exabytes shipped by 2026 – though that would make Rosemarin’s 2028 cutoff unlikely. Pure recently stated SSDs would  kill HDDs in a crossover event that would happen “soon.”

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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