back to article Falling NAND prices to drive NVMe SSD uptake, say industry watchers

The great NAND flash price slump will accelerate the uptake of SSD storage, industry sources have predicted, with PCIe/NVMe SSDs possibly accounting for half of the market by the end of the year. Demand for flash plummeted in late 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, but is expected to bounce back in an improving market for …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    SATA SSDs

    SATA SSDs will continue to exist as easy to add storage upgrades. Adding a NVMe drive is difficult for most systems that only have motherboard provision for a single NVMe drive. (Replacing the OS NVMe drive with a larger one is decidedly non-simple for a non-technical person - especially with only one NVMe slot available.) Adding a SATA SSD is however very simple.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: SATA SSDs

      Very good point. In addition, it's much easier to do mirrors for data protection with SATA than NVMe at the moment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SATA SSDs

      I'm trying to get my work laptop upgraded, the only solution they had was to try to copy the NVMe drive to an external USB disc, replace it with a bigger one, and copy back, but Clonezilla kept failing. They've now given me a 2nd SSD to fit in the SATA bay. It's a 1/4 of the speed of the M.2 drive, but the only other suggestion was to re-image the laptop.

      I've given them links to NVMe duplicators, which are pricey. A cheaper alternative is NVMe to SATA drive caddies, allowing them to be placed in to a standard 2.5" SATA duplicator.

      1. farvoyages

        Re: SATA SSDs

        I've done that job successfully both ways: backing up the original HD with acronis to USB HD then booting from acronis and restoring the TIB to new stick, and also cloning by putting the original NVME stick into a USB-C NVME external enclosure which i bought from eBay. worked fine. HTH

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: SATA SSDs

        "I've given them links to NVMe duplicators, which are pricey."

        PCIe -> NVMe card adaptors for desktops are not and most desktops can take a couple of such cards.

    3. Michael Hoffmann
      Thumb Up

      Re: SATA SSDs

      I almost downvoted this with a huffy “oh come on, it’s not that hard,get a grip”.

      ... and then the morning caffeine kicked in and my current activities along exactly that came flooding back.

      Pour over Asus mobs manual, said mobo having two M.2 slots, figure out which one I can use that won’t clash with the existing PCIe card, then look at table in manual to make sure there’s no overlap in SATA ports (I don’t even understand why this is an issue but the manual has warnings all over the place), then make sure the BIOS is up to date, then scrounge around whether my 3 or so available cloning programs will work, or just go to hell with it and plan on a re-install.

      After that run-on sentence I recognised you’re absolutely right! >.<

    4. toejam13

      Re: SATA SSDs

      Don't forget that some of those motherboard solutions can be rather limiting. On my Haswell i7 box, the onboard NVMe port was only PCIe 2.0 x2, so I had to pick up an PCIe card that could run the drive at PCIe 3.0 x4. Had that not been an option, NVMe would have been a waste.

  2. Korev Silver badge
    Flame

    Waiting

    Am I only only one to expect a fire in a fab soon?

  3. rcxb Bronze badge

    I'm waiting to see how the RAID situation with NVMe pans out. Intel is telling everyone to just use software RAID, which is of course what you have to do when there's no hardware solutions out there, but is that really the best option? Sure, it's perfect if you're using ZFS (ZRAID) anyhow, but is it really as reliable and manageable for everyone else? I know, if you absolutely NEED the speed, you do whatever you've got to do, but plain SATA/SAS SSDs are only a slight bottleneck for us as of yet, so I'll wait and see how it develops.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      {{AC as I represent several brands, several product sets}}

      Yep, software RAID is the way to go and Intel is advising you correctly.

      There's no hardware RAID that will keep up with NVMe drives and although I believe vendors will be providing it, it will definitely be slower than software RAID.

      Which begs the question, if you really insist on hardware RAID, why are you spending all that dough on NVMe drives in the first place?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ZFS is safer than RAID anyway if your data really matters to you.

    4. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Not quite - Intel are touting their VROC technology which is a software/hardware hybrid.

      Unfortunately, none of the big manufacturers support it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NVMe will take off with PCIe4

    AMD launches Rome based microprocessors this year, which come with more PCI lanes and PCIe4.

    Intel -which still makes up the bulk of the x86 business - is at least a year behind AMD, but will also drive the NVMe boost.

    NVMe fabric design is just beginning to catch on, but really, you're going to get faster performance from server-based NVMe than you'll ever get from external SANs as it's closer to the CPU.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: NVMe will take off with PCIe4

      "you're going to get faster performance from server-based NVMe than you'll ever get from external SANs "

      Unless you use Hynix NVMe - absolutely shitty performance (worse than mechanical SATA in some cases)

  5. Epobirs

    If I had a request to upgrade an M.2 NVMe drive, this would be part of the price I'd charge for the job. When the new drive was in place, the old drive would go in the enclosure, formatted, and become a very fast external for the client. Though a lot of the time, clients don't care about the old part and just tell me to keep it. Which means the next person who has the need gets it done for a lower cost as the equipment is already paid off.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA6V88W74238&Description=m.2%20to%20usb%20enclosure&cm_re=m.2_to_usb_enclosure-_-9SIA6V88W74238-_-Product

    Seems like the loser here is Optane, which is currently getting business from caching hard drives. As 1TB NVMe drives become affordable for mainstream use, more and more models are going to forego having a 2.5" drive bay. I can see laptops starting to have two or more M.2 slots. Most will stay empty but will be a useful option for those ordering or upgrading for high end use. Something like a big gaming laptop might have four or more slots, with some of them limited to SATA to work within the limited PCIe lane availability until PCIe 4 reduces the needed lanes for each NVMe device.

  6. Luiz Abdala Bronze badge

    Curiously...

    ...I am having a hard time cloning a nearly empty 1TB HDD to a 250GB SSD. Acronis should do everything, but.. I am getting read errors from the boot hard drive.

    It creates windows partitions just fine, it just doesn't copy Windows as it should, in one go. It spits reads errors, no chkdsk can pick it up, and it never finishes. Is windows 10 doing some sorcery to prevent cloning? Throwing invalid clusters in a hard drive so it cant be cloned? We all know that CD cloning has its fair shares of DRM tools that do just that.

    Perhaps I will have to do a clean install...

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Curiously...

      The only issue I have ever had with Acronis was a a dodgy USB 3 port and the HP Recovery boot partition on my mothers HP laptop.

      The USB 3 port kept disconnecting the USB to Sata adapter, went to the USB 2 and it was stable but slower. I was lazy with the HP Recovery Partition by deleting it (Pretty sure GParted wouldn't have had an issue with it).

      However read errors are never a good thing, I've had an external powered caddy with a back fan and found it was pretty bad for imaging where it would disappear from the USB bus (Which was annoying as I wanted to replace a frankenstein external USB drive I nicked the case and board from), never had read errors before with Acronis..

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