My colleague recently posted a blog about how he welcomes the New Year and the prospect of new beginnings. I agree with him; however, I like to reflect about the past too. New year with new things sounds appealing – who doesn’t like new things? But, there is something to be said about older things – things that are mature and proven. As an experienced HDD industry person, I have seen technologies and products come and go. From IDE interface, MiG heads, to 8” disks, the HDD industry has evolved through the years with current products only coming to fruition because of past technologies.
Such is the mission critical performance optimized enterprise HDD market. Currently, most of the spot light in the HDD market is hyper-focused on the nearline capacity optimized enterprise market, and it makes sense. However, let’s not be so quick to dismiss the other products that still make up over 80%¹ of the market (units) of which Mission Critical HDDs are a part. Given the smaller size of the Mission Critical HDD market and the fact that it is slowly trending downward, it’s understandable why it’s easy to overlook.
Mission Critical HDD key features are why and how this market has not been overtaken by SSDs by now. As a matter of fact, a complete take over by SSDs is taking much longer than what SSD companies probably had expected. SSD performance, albeit much better than Mission Critical HDDs, is not best suited for all applications. For example, Mission Critical HDD write endurance is much longer than lower-priced SSDs. This is key for applications that are write intensive. Additionally, the acquisition price of SSDs are still measurably higher than HDDs, and the lower price per GB for HDDs is attractive to customers. Finally, Mission Critical HDDs are a mature and proven product and technology.
Toshiba plays a critical role in the Mission Critical HDD space. Toshiba’s market share has grown to over 35%¹, and with potential to play an even larger role. And given Toshiba’s complete Mission Critical product portfolio covering all of the key capacity points ranging from 300GB* 2.5-inch 15,000rpm to 2.4TB 2.5-inch 10,000rpm, the company is well positioned to serve the long tail demand of Mission Critical HDD programs.
So, as we embark on this new year and look to the future, we should take a little time to look at the past; for there are many good things that may be older (mature) but still valuable such as Mission Critical HDDs. I only hope that I am viewed somewhat like a Mission Critical HDD – mature and proven (still proving) industry product (technologist).
1Worldwide 3Q19 HDD Shipment Results and Four-Quarter Forecast Update, #US45637719, Nov 2019.
*Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.