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

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-05-03

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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