The merits or otherwise of SSD and HDD should be treated in a clear and balanced way, says Rainer Kaese, Sr manager business development, Toshiba Electronics Europe, Storage Products Division

There has been a significant amount of discussion around the relative merits of traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD) recently.

The media contains many predictions as to which technology will prevail and how the future of storage will shape up.

As a storage supplier who owns design as well as development and manufactures both of these storage technologies, Toshiba is in a good position to offer a comprehensive and balanced view on this subject.

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Rainer Kaese, Sr manager business development, Toshiba Electronics Europe, Storage Products Division

NAND Flash storage is available in many packaging formats including SD cards, USB sticks, embedded Flash, SSDs and more.

The mechanical robustness, complete lack of audible noise and wide temperature range create a winning formula that is behind the rapid growth of this new technology.

With all of these benefits, lightweight NAND is clearly the best choice for mobile applications.

As technology continues to advance, the broadcast market is undergoing a fundamental shift in post-production and editing applications for video and other content.

Where once HDD arrays with multiple parallel spindles were necessary to provide the required performance, the latest high capacity enterprise SSDs can now address this growing application with faster performance, lower noise, lower power consumption and a lower cost point.

The latest SSDs offering direct PCI-Express connectivity to the CPU via the NVM-e protocol will continue to accelerate this trend.

SSD technology is also taking the lead in digital content delivery and streaming.

A new class of large capacity SSD can now match 3.5” HDD capacity yet still offer excellent read performance and low-cost-per-Terabyte due to the low write workload.

This new class of SSD is ideal for streaming applications where content is uploaded infrequently and then delivered continuously via multiple streams.

Magnetic mechanical storage still remains the lowest cost approach to bulk storage.

Continuous development of HDD manufacturing processes means that, despite advancements driving down the cost of NAND Flash, it is not likely that SSDs will decrease to the cost point of HDDs in the near future.

So, for the significant volume requirement for bulk digital media storage, HDDs will continue to increase their capacity in the 3.5-inch form-factor and remain the most cost-effective storage medium well into the next decade; especially for applications such as video archives, surveillance data and libraries.

It can be expected, that, the vast majority of digital media data will still be stored on HDD - this particularly applies to centralised data in datacentres or cloud-based storage.

Overall, both SSDs and HDDs will coexist in digital media and the selection of the storage type will largely be determined by the application. As more and more user-owned or operated equipment will require the use of SSDs it appears that HDDs may phase out slowly over time.

However, the huge amounts of data that is expected to be created in the future can and will only be stored in large centralised/cloud-based pools of Capacity Hard Disk Drives.

This content was first published at IBC2016.

The views expressed are those of the author.