Are HDDs Obsolete?

This looks like more fun than reading The SSD GuyAn article in the Storage Newsletter caught The SSD Guy’s eye when it ran in July.  The article consisted of a press release followed by an editorial comment:

While hard drives still have the cost advantage, it appears it’s becoming akin to sticking with a horse-drawn buggy in an age of automobiles by arguing that the upfront cost for a car is so much more than the cost of a horse. At some point, it just doesn’t make sense to ride a horse. How soon until the IT world gets there?

The press release is from FlashSoft, a company whose caching software helps maximize storage performance using a minimum number of pricey SSDs.

(We note that this editorial comment was later replaced with profiles of all the competing solutions in the market for caching software aimed at paired HDD/SSD systems.)

The SSD Guy wouldn’t have chosen the “horse vs. car” argument in this particular story.  He would instead see this situation more as a car vs. airplane model – The car is great for the little trips that you make every day.  The airplane is far superior for long distance travel, but is costly enough that you only use it for infrequent long trips.  You wouldn’t use a car for all of your trips, and you wouldn’t use an airplane for all of your trips either, but the right balance of the two optimizes your efficiency.

Like cars and airplanes, Objective Analysis expects for SSDs and HDDs to coexist in the future, each solving a unique set of needs.  This is spelled out in a report co-authored with Coughlin Associates: HDDs and Flash Memory, A Marriage of Convenience.  More information is available on the Coughlin Associates website.

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