The market for solid state drives (SSD) expected to gain traction over the coming years.

This is due mainly to the benefits that SSD has over hard drives (HDD) such as high reliability and performance efficiency which are seeing the take-up of SSD in the data centre space, according to Grand View Research.

Regulatory considerations are also a factor: the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and international standards such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and ISO/IEC 27002:2013 that monitor and control data security all drive a move to SSD.

SSD’s ability to store more, more reliably, and retrieve it quickly are helping its growing popularity.

The rising penetration of the Internet, a growing online commerce industry, the digitalisation of day-to-day activities, and increasing volume of media data transfer are expected to drive the market.

The average household’s storage capacity is expected to increase over the coming years due to popularity of smartphones and tablets, which has allowed consumers to generate large volumes of digital data and content. Plus the increasing resolution of images and movies has also led to creation of large volumes of digital data and content.

Massive amounts of digital data and content generation and transfer and need for reliable and fast data storage options have elevated the demand for SSDs, for personal (client) as well as professional (enterprise) use, according to Grand View Research.

Demand in the client segment is high as users prefer fast and large data storage options. The growing use of SSDs in laptops, personal computers, tablets, and smartphones is further driving the client segment.

An increasing adoption of solid state drives in data centres is a result of various factors such as greater efficiency compared to traditional HDD storage, increased demand for storage infrastructure, and advancements in enterprise-level SSD in terms of reliability and performance.

Enterprises prefer SSDs because they consume less energy, allow for reduction in sprawl, and result in a smaller environmental footprint, the researcher states.

According to IDC, the outlook for the solid state drive (SSD) industry remains strong as units, revenue, and total capacity shipped are all expected to see robust growth up to 2021.

International Data Corporation (IDC) expects worldwide SSD unit shipments to increase at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15,1%. SSD industry revenue is expected to reach $33,6-billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14,8%.

The key factors underlying the improved outlook for the SSD market are greater product availability and improved pricing dynamics as the industry transitions to 3D NAND Flash.

IDC believes the current NAND flash supply constraints will begin to diminish in 2018 and contribute to further price erosion in the overall SSD market.In turn, lower SSD pricing will drive greater SSD adoption in PCs and other client devices.

IDC expects client SSD shipments into the PC and consumer electronics markets to see a 2016-2021 CAGR of 15,8%. Meanwhile, enterprise demand for SSDs will remain strong throughout the forecast as customers turn to flash-optimized systems for traditional storage needs as well as for server-attached solutions.

“SSDs continue on a path to become a more broadly used, ubiquitous storage technology across IT markets,” says Jeff Janukowicz, research vice-president, solid state drives and enabling technologies at IDC. “SSDs play an important role in making the digital transformation possible, a dynamic that IDC expects will continue to propel the adoption of SSDs and underpins the secular growth of the SSD market for both the client and enterprise segments.”

In the client market, IDC expects higher SSD capacities at key price points to result in higher attach rates over time in new notebook and desktop PCs as well as in detachable tablets or 2-in-1 tablets such as the Microsoft Surface.

In the enterprise market, lower SSD prices on a per-gigabit basis will drive SSD attach rates higher in servers, network storage arrays (all-flash arrays and hybrid flash arrays), and hyperscale cloud service provider data centres.

In the commercial market, IDC expects to see increased adoption of SSDs in a variety of secondary markets and applications, including the Internet of Things (IoT), where the high reliability, extreme flexibility in form factor and capacity, and operating ruggedness in harsh environments will prove to be beneficial.


Enterprise storage shipments, revenue up

Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue was up 13,7% year over year to just under $13,6-billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker.

Total capacity shipments were up 39,3% year over year to 89,2 exabytes during the quarter.

Revenue growth increased within the group of original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacentres. This portion of the market increased 34,3% year over year to just under $2,8-billion.

Sales of server-based storage increased 23,8% during the quarter and accounted for $4,2-billion in revenue. External storage systems remained the largest market segment, with the $6,6-billion in sales representing an increase of 1,8% year over year.

“Investments on enterprise storage systems are increasing at a very healthy pace,” says Eric Sheppard, research vice-president with IDC’s Enterprise Infrastructure team. “Infrastructure refresh, a broad market shift towards server-based storage, and rapid expansion within public cloud data centres are combining to creating strong demand for enterprise storage systems.”

HPE/New H3C Group and Dell. were statistically tied for the number one position of the total worldwide enterprise storage systems market, accounting for 18,9% and 18% of spending, respectively.

IBM and NetApp finished tied for third with 5,5% and 5,4% market share, respectively.

Huawei and Hitachi were tied for the number five position. Huawei achieved 3,8% market share and Hitachi achieved 3,3% market share.

As a single group, storage systems sales by original design manufacturers (ODMs) selling directly to hyperscale datacentre customers accounted for 20,4% of global spending during the quarter.


NAS revenues slow

This year’s first-quarter revenues from network-attached storage (NAS) systems were +15,3% higher than in 2017, according to the latest Western Europe distribution data published by Context.

This growth was seen in revenues from NAS products designed for large enterprise customers, those aimed at small and medium business (SMB) customers and products that can be used by either segment.

Most growth came from sales of desktop NAS systems, which have grown by +37,7% year-on-year.

Revenue from products on which information about their form is not available declined, along with that from Rack 4U products.

Although revenue from Rack 1U and Rack 3U systems increased, combined revenues from racks, towers and products with an undefined form-factor declined by -5,1% year-on-year.

“Desktop products with two bays were more widely adopted than those featuring different numbers of bays,” says Mathias Knoefel, senior manager: corporate benchmarking and enterprise analyst at Context. “This was driven by sales of products designed for SMBs, such as Synology’s Disk Station, QNAP’s Turbo NAS TS and Netgear’s ReadyNAS.”

Not every Western European market saw the same level of growth, but revenues from two-bay desktop NAS systems saw at least double-digit growth in every market, with many markets showing triple-digit growth. This suggests that many small and medium businesses have not been won over by the convenience of cloud storage but are instead choosing to store certain types of data locally, on their desks.