Will SSD's Ever Replace Mechanical Storage?

Rob Williams

Staff member
As soon as solid-state storage hit the scene in a big way a few years ago, some people immediately began to contemplate the potential demise of mechanical storage as we knew it. That argument has once again been brought to the table by storage-tracking site Enterprise Storage Forum. Does mechanical storage have anything to worry about, or will SSD's some day take over?


Read the rest of our news post here and discuss it here.


Tech Monkey
I am reminded of the copper versus fiber optic "race". 20+ years ago, fiber optics was predicted to replace copper ... we are talking just about anything computer network related as well as telecom.

I worked for a company at the time that was a connector company for anything and quite aggressive about it (aka litigious). Networking PCs was new & contentious for MIS. I worked for a VP with unlimited signing power:eek: & he tasked me to setup a purely fiber optic network at the time. This was to be done using fiber products from a recently purchased wholly owned subsidiary. Twenty something IBM PS2's of all variety were ordered & setup one weekend with the facility maintenance guys & another VP (former Navy commander) tasked with making sure the subsidiary was providing what they said that they could. There were some very long runs from the shipping dock/packing to the office area. Long & short of it, it worked flawlessly & was the showcase system. (This really irritated the MIS VP, but he was not a match for "my" VP ... very interesting, but I am wandering even more.)

To my knowledge of that industry, then and since, it came down to cost. And, the "copper guys" have been able to keep improving the performance of copper tech such Cat 6+ so that "old tech" has remained strong. For instance, pre/de-compensation to improve Cat standard performances was barely a concept "then".

Oh, there were groups in the same company with an investment in "copper" ... they were the internal competition. I made so many enemies!! I was just doing what I was told!! Some of those guys almost made feel like a ... ... Nazi! As *I* was threatening their jobs.

Ok, quite a bit of a tangent and the point is ... I suspect that the companies that are HDD only or at least have significant investment in the technology are finding SSDs as *the* industry competitive threat ... remembering that, "necessity is the mother of invention". We will be the benefactors 1 way or another.


heres my problem with SSD's

the finite amounts of writes kind opf troubles me even if it would take a long time, its still worrying.
the size! they list these as a gamer essential but lets face it the thing will fill up quick.
the price. ooh the price.
so far the only thing you get is a faster, but smaller + exorbitant high priced disks that can blow out after a few billion writes.. not good for page memory i guess

Rob Williams

Staff member
I have no doubt that the companies worried about SSD's are those with significant investment into mechanical storage technologies, because even since SSD's hit the "mainstream", representatives from ALL of these companies downplayed the effect of SSD's, and ironically, almost all of them today have their own line-up of SSD products.

I'm not entirely sure these two examples could be compared, though. Copper technology has improved over time, but hasn't the leading issue with fiber simply been the cost? That's not exactly the case with SSD's, as the cost <em>will</em> go down over time, especially with improved technologies. The main issue is storage density, which also will improve over time.

As far as I'm aware, copper has never really gone to super-low levels, but today is still rather expensive in the grand scheme, but still nowhere near as expensive as fiber. On that side, it seems to be more of a money issue, while on the SSD vs. HDD side, it's more of technological hurdles that are getting in the way.