Pure Storage exec says HDDs will disappear from the market after 2028

Over the past decade, nearly all PC gamers and DIY enthusiasts have opted for the superior performance of SSDs as their primary choice for system storage. The sales of HDDs in the consumer market have visibly waned, yet they still hold a place in the enterprise market, where metrics such as TCO are of greater concern.

According to a report from Blocks & Files, a senior executive at Pure Storage, a manufacturer of storage solutions and custom enterprise-grade SSD devices, recently posited that HDDs will disappear from the market after 2028, ceasing to be sold. This extremity of viewpoint might be somewhat wishful thinking, given that it comes from a company focused on SSDs. In reality, bolstered by various new technologies, HDDs still maintain certain advantages in some application scenarios. Nonetheless, it also highlights the potential issue of HDDs’ technological lifespan, which might be shorter than anticipated.

Seagate Barracuda Pro HDD

Image: Seagate

The executive believes power cost is a significant factor to consider. At present, approximately 3% of the world’s electricity is used to power data centers, with about one-third of that consumption attributable to HDDs. The cost difference brought about by such large-scale deployment is evident. If storage mediums were to shift to SSDs, power consumption could decrease by 80% to 90%. In addition, the continuous decline in cost per unit capacity, improvements in storage density, and superior performance are all factors propelling SSDs to replace HDDs.

Beyond the aforementioned factors, one cannot overlook government intervention. Some countries are presently formulating electricity usage quota policies, which means projects with lower energy efficiency may not receive approval or the necessary operating permits. This will impact the procurement of data center equipment. Although a massive transition from HDDs to SSDs within data centers is not yet evident, should it commence, it would herald the end of the HDD era.