HDD Makers Will Deliver Unprecedented Capacity in Next Five Years, IDC Reports

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-05-03 Print this article Print

The world hard drive industry is forecast to deliver more than 300,000 petabytes of storage capacity through 2015 -- mostly to enterprise data centers and cloud computing systems, IDC reported.

A prominent IT researcher forecast  May 3 that the hard-disk storage industry will be building and selling products at an unprecedented pace during the next five years.

In fact, the world hard drive industry is predicted to deliver more than 300,000 petabytes of storage capacity through 2015 -- mostly to enterprise data centers and cloud computing systems, IDC reported.

Only a year after slowdown in IT spending caused by the overall world economic slump, HDD vendors led by Seagate, Samsung, WD (Western Digital) and Hitachi will be building increasing numbers of 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, mostly for enterprise storage, IDC said.

"The big story here is that there is simply a lot of content growth, and when you look at this worldwide, and how much of that has to be stored, hard drives are still unbeatable, in terms of delivering the best storage device for the money," John Rydning, IDC research director for Storage Mechanisms: Disk, told eWEEK.

According to the report, HDD shipments for enterprise applications will increase from 40.5 million units in 2009 to 52.6 million units in 2014. In addition, the hard drive industry will ship more capacity (petabytes) for enterprise applications in the next two years than it did in the preceding 20 years, Rydning said.

This is quite a bounceback from the tough economic climate during the last two years, which included an unprecedented decline in hard disk drive terabyte shipments for enterprise applications in 2009, Rydning said.

Other key points in the research include the continuing transition inside enterprise data centers from 3.5-inch to 2.5-inch performance-optimized form factor HDDs, growing interest in storage as an online service (which will require mostly HHD storage), and the continuing downward trend in HDD pricing, Rydning said.  

For example, the price per gigabyte of performance-optimized HDD storage [2.5-inch disk drvies] will continue to decline at a rate of about 25 percent to 30 percent per year, the report said.

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Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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