Storage Unpacked 240 – Predicting the HDD to SSD Transition Timeline


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In this episode, Chris is joined by Phison CTO Sebastien Jean to discuss the transition from HDD to SSD. As pricing for the two media types comes close to reaching parity, this conversation looks at how the two media are evolving and how NAND flash SSDs are set to become the de facto choice for the enterprise data centre. The transition to an all-flash data centre has been predicted for some time, however end game could be on the horizon as soon as 2025 or 2026.

The Phison blog discussed by Sebastien can be found here –

Elapsed Time: 00:44:01


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:02:45 – Predictions of the death of the hard drive are overdone
  • 00:04:15 – Enterprise SSD prices continue to drop – but don’t HDDs do that too?
  • 00:05:30 – 2020 was the cutover year for units produced (SSD vs HDD)
  • 00:06:45 – HDD capacity growth has slowed
  • 00:07:50 – SSD growth is being achieved with 3D techniques
  • 00:09:15 – Floors could be used to increase layer count
  • 00:11:00 – Latency is increasing in newer flash designs
  • 00:13:05 – What is the “acceptable” limit for SSD capacity?
  • 00:14:15 – Dense SSDs will be the norm with NVMe connectivity
  • 00:15:30 – New form factors will drive greater drive capacities
  • 00:17:00 – Is $/GB too simple a measure?
  • 00:19:40 – SSD rebuilds are quick, avoiding the need for RAID-6
  • 00:20:45 – SSD failure is not predictable
  • 00:25:00 – Are HDD shipping costs relevant?
  • 00:26:30 – How are the hyper-scalers using HDDs and driving change?
  • 00:29:15 – Where do we go next – PLC?
  • 00:32:00 – Could an entire SSD be dynamic between SLC and QLC?
  • 00:35:45 – What about new technology Optane 4.0 or MRAM?
  • 00:40:30 – Look out for CXL-enabled SSDs
  • 00:42:40 – 2Tb NAND dies will bring HDD parity

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