back to article The SHOCKING storage truth: Everyone's buying spinning rust

Hyperscale data centre spending is driving disk storage system spending higher, but mainstream vendors aren’t benefiting as the hyperscalers are buying direct. It's a big change in buyer behaviour. This is the picture shown by IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker for the fourth 2014 quarter. The market …

  1. Stevie Silver badge


    Thanks for explaining ODM.

    Now: WTF is a "hyperscale" data centre? I assume it is people like Google and Amazon, but when I assume ...

    1. Ashton Black

      Re: Bah!

      Yes, those buggers. (MS and FB are other examples)

  2. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Spinning rust usage is up

    Until flash storage reaches sensible pricing, what alternative would you suggest?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Readable graphs. Thank you!

  4. JustNiz

    Flash storage is still at least 10x as expensive as same-size disc storage and also fundamentally flawed as a technology due to having by comparison a very low limit on write cycles.

    SSD has 4 advantages over disc, power consumption, size, shock/vibration robustness and I/O performance, which makes it great for a laptop, but in a datacenter environment, most of those advantages are pretty much irrelevant. The advantages of SSD are not enough to outweigh its disadvantages, and probably won't ever be until SSD technology changes again.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Something like 98% of Fortune 500 companies are now using flash in the datacenter very successfully. I've worked with some. While you're sitting around waiting for flash to be 'perfected', your DBs and other high I/O applications are suffering with slow performing hard drives.

      It isn't as though flash drives wear out in a matter of months, and even if they did it is something the drive will alert you of well in advance so they can be replaced. You will never see a flash drive surprise you when it reaches its write limit, unless don't monitor your servers.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        I'm pretty sure they aren't using flash exclusively. They most likely use it to cache frequently accessed data.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          For certain things flash is used exclusively, but in general yes it is for the hot data. i.e., exactly what the guy who is paranoid about flash write lifetime is worried about, yet it works just fine.

      2. RobHib


        Agree completely, but I have to add spinning rust has considerably more capacity for the price. No problem, DBs use flash and long-term 'slower' storage uses rust. Obviously, flash (and newer tech) will win out—probably sooner than later.

        From long experience, there's one thing I'm certain of, which is there's no such thing as too much storage, our demand for it is insatiable.

        1. earl grey Silver badge

          Re: @DougS

          demand for it is insatiable.

          So much pron; so little storage.

        2. DougS Silver badge


          Yes, exactly! I've seen a larger increase in DB performance switching to SSDs than the previous decade of multicore CPUs, since compute was rarely the bottleneck for DB servers. Writes have always been easy to optimize, since you can segregate logs onto drives striped as wide as necessary for the required throughput, and rely on an array's write cache to deal with the rest.

          Reads were always the problem for physical media, so DBAs sometimes went to great lengths to optimize indexes to minimize the number of reads at the cost of storage, CPU and write complexity.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      The I/O performance difference isn't negligible, it's huge. We can literally double the performance of our database servers by replacing their hard drives with SSDs, and obviously a whole server's worth of SSDs is a lot cheaper than a whole new server.

  5. PassiveSmoking

    Reports of my death

    I've been seeing articles predicting the death of tape for probably over 20 years now.

    I fully expect in 20 years time I'll be seeing articles predicting the death of hard drives.

    As long as there's a niche for these technologies to exploit they will never die. They both have the advantage of being bit for bit cheaper than their successors, and in the case of tape of being very stable in storage for very long periods.

    Long live spinning rust!

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