back to article Jingle bells, disk drives sell not so well from today. Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open array...

Number-crunchers at IDC and Wells Fargo are predicting that global disk drive sales will crash from 424.7 million units in 2016 to an estimated 284.7 million in 2021. Ouch. Shipments of enterprise nearline and surveillance-cam disk drives are the only areas of the sector that will expand during the forecast period, the …

  1. ExampleOne

    So SSDs are eating the market, and the only areas where they aren't are business disks with a sensitivity to prove per unit storage? This is a surprise why?

    1. Oneman2Many

      Are you saying that you can store more on a mechanical drive than SSD ?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        "Are you saying that you can store more on a mechanical drive than SSD"

        Yeah, price per gigabyte is STILL better for spinny drives vs silicon drives. They tend to have more storage per device [since buying a <1TB spinny hard drive is kinda pointless nowadays] than the SSDs so if your laptop has space for a 2nd hard drive, it's likely to be just that - a spinny hard drive. Same for PC as well but that was kinda obvious.

  2. steelpillow Silver badge

    Somebody just took a ruler to the trends of the last two years. I could do that. How much was the clown paid?

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge

    stimulate market: make easier to download videos, and non-windows-10 OS

    even though youtube-dl works really well for downloading (and keeping) youtube videos, it's constantly in need of updating as youtube mangles the way it delivers content [perhaps to thwart it].

    But if MORE people had an EASIER time of downloading youtube content, then MORE people would SAVE it [rather than streaming every! single! time!]. this would fill up hard drives, requiring BIGGER [and perhaps FASTER] drives to replace old "full" ones.

    So if youtube invests in hard drives, they can help stimulate the market by ENCOURAGING people to download content, etc.

    They might actually make MORE money that way than if they spy on us or track us for advertising purposes.

    Now, would they choose the 'more honorable' path of stimulating a market that they invest in, or are they going to continue to "do no evil when we define evil the way we define it" like they've been doing for a while now... ?

    And another market stimulation would be for Intel and hard drive manufacturers to COLLABORATE on getting an OS alternative out there, pre-installed on computers, one that's the equivalent [to businesses] of Windows, and also to the 'Home' user crowd, that's marketed and supported and so on and BASED ON LINUX such that you can install your OWN version of Linux over the top of it [i.e. no 'secure boot' lockouts].

    This WOULD stimulate PC sales, thereby stimulating HARD DRIVE sales. Google could even get in on it with Chrome OS and perhaps an option of having Mint pre-installed...

    ALL of these things WOULD stimulate hard drive sales. But is anybody LOOKING at this? Must the Win-10-nic MONOPOLY _CONTINUE_ to depress the new PC market? And, apparently, depress the 'new hard drive' market as well.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      @Mr. Bombastic

      "This WOULD stimulate PC sales, thereby stimulating HARD DRIVE sales."

      Absolute nonsense. But please explain why you're campaigning for the hard drive cause?

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge

        Re: @Mr. Bombastic

        "But please explain why you're campaigning for the hard drive cause?"

        You have to understand the thought process:

        1) The HDD market is decreasing

        2) About 10-15 years ago, HDDs were an essential component of the average PC

        2a) "Things were better back then" (see comments about C++ vs ".Not", anything about old UI vs "ugly flatso", etc)

        3) Therefore, if the HDD market is decreasing, the PC market must be decreasing

        4) The vast majority of PCs are sold with Windows pre-installed...

        5) The current version of Windows is Win10...

        ... and let the red mist descend.

      2. ivan5

        Re: @Mr. Bombastic

        But please explain why you're campaigning for the hard drive cause?

        I would think the reason should be obvious - you get more data space for the monetary outlay.

        IF SSDs were the same price as spinning disks it might be a different ball game. At the moment I can get a 1TB SSD for 400 euro and a 2TB spinning disk for 85 euro. If money was no object I would go for the SSD but since money is of great concern (as is long term storage of data) I buy the spinning disk.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: @Mr. Bombastic

          "I would think the reason should be obvious - you get more data space for the monetary outlay."

          If that is the only metric. An SSD gets work done faster, and it consumes much less power when idle or in use - enabling a laptop to run longer on a battery. It also weights less and is silent.

          "At the moment I can get a 1TB SSD for 400 euro and a 2TB spinning disk for 85 euro."

          Please update your prices. At the moment I can actually buy a 2TB SSD for 280 eur, the ADATA SU800 2TB.

          At the moment I can get a new 120 GB SSD for 25 eur. I can get a new 240GB SSD for 40 eur. The cheapest new hard drive, a WD or Seagate 2,5" 5400rpm 500GB costs about 45 eur. If you're specifying a new computer and 'money is of great concern', as you put it, then I'd go with a 120/240GB SSD.

          But to each their own.

          1. Alistair Silver badge

            Re: @Mr. Bombastic


            There is a reason that ADATA SSD is that cheap. Just *don't*. They don't kill the storage, but I've seen/heard/found far too many ADATA disk controllers die. I've patched three (replace controller) for very specific data recovery requirements, But I'm not recommending anyone try that at home without the correct toolset.

          2. ivan5

            Re: @Mr. Bombastic


            Sorry but I wouldn't touch that ADATA SSD with a barge pool let alone put it in a new computer. as for those 120/240 GB SSDs I have used them for the operating system but that is all for the simple reason we couldn't fit our tools partition on one.

            It all depends if you want to play or work.

            1. Sandtitz Silver badge

              Re: @Mr. Bombastic

              "Sorry but I wouldn't touch that ADATA SSD with a barge pool let alone put it in a new computer"


              Apart from Alistair's anecdote, I cannot find any reliabitility data concerning ADATA. I have a few in casual use and I haven't had any problems. They're not the most performant, but I can't spot any difference between them and say, Samsung 960 Evo models unless I run benchmarks. This, of course, is also anecdotal data.

              If ADATA really is worse than the competition, I'd like some proper evidence. I've had firmware problems in SSD's from practically every manufacturer, even Intel has had terrible problems. I'm also used to updating HDD firmware, they're no exception...

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: @Mr. Bombastic

          "IF SSDs were the same price as spinning disks it might be a different ball game"

          There are a number of reasons(*) why price parity isn't needed. If SSDs hit 4-5 times the price of spinning media in larger sizes, business will have them moving off the shelves so fast you'll go dizzy trying to keep up.

          (*) - better read seek times

          - faster read speeds

          - far lower power consumption (they can sleep quickly and wake up as needed)

          - FAR greater reliability

          - Better warranties

          - No vibration issues to worry about (vibration coupling between drives is a _major_ problem in drive arrays - to the point that some of the larger arrays of bleeding edge spinners have been limited to only having one drive spun up at any given instant.)

          And that's even if the write speeds are no better than (or even worse than) existing nearline spinners or endurance is only 1000 write cycles.

          As for Seagate and WD, they made their beds a long time ago when they screwed purchasers over in the wake of the 2011 Thai floods (slashing warranties, tripling prices in some cases and reliability plummeting) so I'm happy to see them fester in it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: stimulate market: make easier to download videos, and non-windows-10 OS

      I believe bob must be a dedicated troll with a hell of a lot of time (guessing retired). There's no other explanation for how one person can be so aggressively and consistently moronic about literally every single topic. Yep... no way this guy is for real.

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    So this is news? It was not expected?

    I suspect a lot of casual storage has moved to the cloud. It used to be that the lusers had a 100Mb disk stuffed to the gills, then they moved to a 1Gb disk with 100Mb of data scattered around ... but in the cloud a 1Gb disk would support about 15 lusers (the hibernation and tmp files stay at home).

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      You're about a factor of 1024 out there (MB should be GB, and GB should be TB), but otherwise I agree.

      Even a basic desktop linux (eg Mint) needs almost 10GB these days.

  5. Nematode


    1. Alister Silver badge

      You do know it's Christmas, don't you?

      Just checking...

      1. phuzz Silver badge


        Good work on making sure to Let Them Know It's Christmas Time.


      2. 97browng

        Re: Easy to mitigate

        A much better response would have been, Do YOU know it's Christmas time at all :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always needed bigger and bigger drives.

    But now everything can be saved directly to a cloud service, no need for local space, ergo no need for repetitive replacement of local drive.

    1. Adelio

      Re: Always needed bigger and bigger drives.

      And if you trust a clound service for your only or primary service then you deserve all you get!

    2. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

      Re: Always needed bigger and bigger drives.

      Do you have any idea how long it takes to upload data to somebody elses computers, oops I mean a cloud service?

      Even uploading a small amount of home movies say 50GB of unedited original "master" files makes me think twice. I'm actually about to leave my PC on for the next week to upload more than this to Amazon S3, for off site backup of data I have already backed up on-site twice. A week. And thats just my newest data, not the older stuff I want to preserve.

      Sorry but comparing the transfer rate of a spinning HDD or a decent SSD versus the cloud = no contest.

      In the early 2000's I was happy with my spinning drives blasting data to and from each other at 150-200MB/s over PATA with SATA giving a more consistent speed between drives later. Show me an ISP that can give me an upload speed that matches a PATA HDD from the 2000's. Thats assuming that that service does not cost more than £50 a month, and ignoring the fact that the endpoint (the cloud service) may have its own issues along with anything in-between adding to the propagation delay.

      Just for the sake of it, I'm on Virgin Media, who are really against giving you upload speed anywhere close to your download speed. Right now my upload speed is capped at 6Mb/s. The most expensive packages can double that.

      Yesterday I tried sharing a newly taken photo from my phone to someone on FB messenger. I had what appeared to be a decent 4G signal. The single photo took over 2 mins to upload. Sat at 50% for a while. 2 mins to transfer about 20MB. SIgh. This is likely an issue at FB end to be honest but if that was something much bigger that 20MB...

    3. TheSolderMonkey

      Re: Always needed bigger and bigger drives.

      A fool and his data are easily parted.

  7. hoola

    Storage in the cloud

    And just what is that stuff stored on in the cloud?

    There appears to the this notion that the cloud does not need any hardware. Cloud providers needs servers and crucially storage. The storage is going to be based on the cheapest possible available and currently at those scales traditional disk still provides what is needed. What many people fail to realise is that if you have enough spinny disks in your storage system (this will all be software defined on some sort of object store) the performance becomes pretty good due to the number of spindles available. Storage will be tiered with some faster at the front but the bulk is all low performance, minimal access.

    Eventually some sort of SSD will become more cost effective and due to the scale they work at the data reconstruction times of 50TB, or 100TB SSDs is largely irrelevant.

  8. Gustavo Fring

    ordinary peeps

    Can get their storage needs met by a reasonable size SSD , and they are becoming price compettive at the bottom end .

    The idea that PC sales are held back by the lack of a Good linux distro ..well ..LOL

    I for one wouldn't trust my storage needs to the cloud, not least due to uploading speeds, altho I can certainly see the widespread adoption of 5g meNING that all those funny little vids and pictures (phones) go straight to the cloud. People with HARD drives will be regarded as quaint as people with B+W Tv sets.

    Will 12Tb see me out? they did have a five year warranty

    In my last will &testament I bequeath these storage devices :-)

  9. Annihilator


    "Third of market to evaporate by 2021"

    Well if they will insist on filling the damn things with helium...

  10. Sepp4Tape

    Not only SSDs, but also Tape is talking Market Share from HDDs!!!

  11. ProbablyUnknown

    Just a little marketing and a pre-loaded 10TB Portable Porn Drive (PPD) © may help keep their legacy dreams/drives alive.

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