News HDD Shipments Almost Halved in 2022

YouFilthyHippo

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Software Outgrew HDDs well over 10 years ago. SSDs were just too high in price. SSD prices have nose-dived in the last 4 years. Hard drives are impractical this time around, unless it's for data backup, mass storage of movies, music, etc, that sort of stuff. But really, HDDs are becoming a niche thing. They're kind of dead to the masses. HDDs will continue to plummet and in 5 years they will be a specialty item. The same thing happened to 5.25 inch optical bays in ATX cases. It just wasn't practical anymore.
 
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Naturally, the industry can’t take a beating like this for too many years before it becomes unsustainable and HDDs are interned in the graveyard of tech.

That is still decades from happening, the need for inexpensive bulk storage is only going to continue to grow. What's going to happen is that industry consolidation will occur, probably WD and Toshiba, HDDs will continue to increase in capacity, and the need for so many HDDs will decrease as the reliability of 20TB, and in a few years 30TB,, is shown and multiple lower capacity drives are phased out, so while the shipment volume should continue to decrease, the profit margin per drive should increase.
 

DavidLejdar

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Tough. At large capacity, HDDs are still quite cheaper than other storage devices, and still plenty of use cases where the "read speed" is plenty. For me though, I don't use a HDD anymore. I can do with some storage capacity, such as for having "several" modern games installed. But with fibre-optics availability increasing, with which there is a data transfer rata around the same as HDD "read speed", not a point for me to have a HDD, from which transferring 100 GB to the game drive would take some 15 minutes - which is not that much, but with a newer SATA SSD, that would be 3 minutes, or for a number of games the SATA SSD is still plenty good to run a game from directly.

Shouldn't be too bad for these companies though, as they are selling SSDs too, and the size of software isn't really decreasing.
 

USAFRet

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All my house systems are SSD only. Have been for years.

However, the 85TB in my NAS is all spinners, except for the 480GB SSD systems drive.
That 85TB is unlikely to change to SSD in the foreseeable future.
 
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Aaron Priest

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All my house systems are SSD only. Have been for years.

However, the 85TB in my NAS is all spinners, except for the 480GB SSD systems drive.
That 85TB is unlikely to change to SSD in the foreseeable future.

Same here. I'm all SSDs except my Synology NAS boxes for backups. Almost all of my clients are the same now except a few specialized servers still running 15K SAS drives in RAID 6 or 10. Hard drives are still ideal for large NAS backups and won't be changing soon for us, but we don't buy very many drives a year.
 
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InvalidError

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Software Outgrew HDDs well over 10 years ago. SSDs were just too high in price. SSD prices have nose-dived in the last 4 years. Hard drives are impractical this time around, unless it's for data backup, mass storage of movies, music, etc, that sort of stuff. But really, HDDs are becoming a niche thing.
HDDs are becoming "niche" mainly due to 500GB being enough for most people and reaching price parity with HDDs with basically no downsides, not really from software "outgrowing" HDDs. I still run software from HDD. Since I have 32GB of RAM and reboot my PC less than once a month, the "slow load time" is something I see only about once a month and don't give half a damn about. My 10 years old 1TB WD Black still shows perfect health in SMART registers, I have no reason to toss it yet.
 

ThatMouse

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Sounds like PC makers are finally deciding to stop putting HDD's in their laptops and desktops. For the rest of us we still need the 12TB and over for our pirating!
 

rluker5

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I picked up a new WD Blue 8TB for $120 a couple months ago for "cold" storage.
I don't use it for OS or games I'm actively playing, but it holds 8 TB of stuff for way cheaper than a single SSD. I picked up my daughter's WD Blue 12 years ago and it is still fine. If I want faster access to that little used stuff it holds 200MB/s read and I drag the folder over.
Although you can get 4TB sata SSDs in a pair of 2-2TB for $180 nowadays which is quite a bit cheaper than they used to be. And some newer small pc cases don't have a good spot for 3.5' HDDs.

A problem with drives in terms of sales is how long they last. I've had one sata2 HDD fail, one 9 year old ROG RAIDR pcie ssd, and a couple 42mm sata SSDs. I just pitched my IDE drives even though they worked fine. Other than tiny things, everything seems to last a very long time. Why replace the slowest (HDD) when you have faster things like SATA SSDs getting dropped down to less used storage because you bought faster stuff?
 

Geef

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Guys there is something that is fun and cheap to do with old HDDs. First go buy a Torx screwdriver set. Its only 10 dollars and the T8 size of torx screwdrivers is usually what HDDs use. You can open one up and see what is really inside! The one I opened had one of those super strong magnets inside along with the disks and stuff.

Doing this also means you can tell people that the drink coaster next to your computer used to hold XXX GB of data!
 
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All my computers have had SSDs for the system drive since they first came out. However, when I upgraded my storage array late last year, I stayed with enterprise HDDs. The speed is excellent, and the cost was less than half of what SSDs would have been. I foresee HDDs still ruling the bulk storage area for the foreseeable future.
 

YouFilthyHippo

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HDDs are becoming "niche" mainly due to 500GB being enough for most people and reaching price parity with HDDs with basically no downsides, not really from software "outgrowing" HDDs. I still run software from HDD. Since I have 32GB of RAM and reboot my PC less than once a month, the "slow load time" is something I see only about once a month and don't give half a damn about. My 10 years old 1TB WD Black still shows perfect health in SMART registers, I have no reason to toss it yet.

It's not just boot times. It's video editors, games, videos, even smaller software applications can be slower.
 

edzieba

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Would be interesting to see sales numbers broken out by sector, or plotted as exabytes/year production capacity. Whilst client drives (the 'bargain bin laptop' option) will have nosedived in sales as SSD prices go down, datacentre demand continues to skyrocket so demand for smaller volumes of far higher capacity drives should still be trending upwards.

It's not as if less data is being generated worldwide year-on-year, and it's all going to have to be stored somewhere. Tapes (and ODDs) are too slow for online retrieval (even with tape robots), and SSDs are still well above HDDs in $/TB even with physical volume and power consumption taken into account in TCO.
 

PiranhaTech

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Once SSDs hit 2 TB and 4 TB at a decent price, there's much less need for magnetic. I found 4 TB to be an especially good tier to have your system to where the average home user has to put a lot of effort into filling.

The main reason why I have more than that is I'm interested in video, and also I'm lazy about clearing out space on my drives. I just upgrade a storage drive once it fills up
 

greenreaper

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Whilst client drives (the 'bargain bin laptop' option) will have nosedived in sales as SSD prices go down, datacentre demand continues to skyrocket so demand for smaller volumes of far higher capacity drives should still be trending upwards.

It's not as if less data is being generated worldwide year-on-year, and it's all going to have to be stored somewhere. Tapes (and ODDs) are too slow for online retrieval (even with tape robots), and SSDs are still well above HDDs in $/TB even with physical volume and power consumption taken into account in TCO.
That's basically my situation - I was looking to replace a server with 6x3GB HDD in RAID10+RAID5, and what made the most sense was 2x8GB with two RAID0 partitions. Will be a pain if one of the drives breaks (though everything is backed up), but otherwise good enough performance even for light DB replication and querying since most of the working set is in RAM - the rest is media storage. With the aid of 256MB cache we can squeeze a few hundred IOPS out of it, which is sufficient. And the price and presumably energy saving from a smaller server is significant.
 

PiranhaTech

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There's actually a product called PrimoCache, which will let you use a $20 M.2 SSD as L2 Cache, and system RAM as L1 cache for magnetic drives

For me though, I wouldn't use more than an SSD would want to throw away. I had a small partition on a 1 TB Samsung EVO, and recently I had to throw it out due to a bad block.
 

bit_user

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HDDs are becoming "niche" mainly due to 500GB being enough for most people and reaching price parity with HDDs with basically no downsides, not really from software "outgrowing" HDDs.
You should distinguish between consumer and cloud. In cloud (and video surveillance, as the article mentioned), HDDs are still a mainstay and will remain so for some time.

My 10 years old 1TB WD Black still shows perfect health in SMART registers,
I had the same experience with all 5 of my WD1002FAEX drives. Used 'em for 10 years and they were still perfect (0 uncorrectible reads), when taken out of service in Jan 2020. Sadly, I haven't had as good an experience with the 4 TB WD Gold drives which replaced them.
 

bit_user

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I picked up a new WD Blue 8TB for $120 a couple months ago for "cold" storage.
This.

Most people don't realize that you can't use modern QLC SSDs for cold storage. I mean, you can try ...but they simply aren't designed for that. Your data could disappear after leaving the drive powered off for only a couple years or less.
 

bit_user

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I had a small partition on a 1 TB Samsung EVO, and recently I had to throw it out due to a bad block.
So, the sector was unreadable? Did you try any diagnostic tools? I'm wondering what % life it said was remaining.

Modern SSDs and HDDs do a sort of "patrol scrub", in the background, where they check blocks for correctable CRC errors and rewrite any that don't pass. If the error rate is too high or the rewritten block still has errors, I think they remove that block from circulation and swap in one from the drive's reserve capacity. Therefore, if you're using the drive frequently enough, and it still has reserve capacity (i.e. still has some % of life remaining), then it's exceedingly rare to have failed reads. That's why I'm wondering if it reported any life remaining.