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Solid state drives don’t just “sort of” speed up your boot drive, the difference is literally night and day. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with a machine equipped with one will tell you it’s hard to go back to using a mechanical drive, but that doesn’t have Seagate worried. Forbes had an opportunity to sit down with CEO Steve Luczo this week, and he makes a pretty compelling argument as to why the mechanical hard drive industry has nothing to fear from SSD to makers, at least for now.
According to Luczo, the notion that solid state storage will take over is absurd, and smaller capacity SSD drives are doing little more than shifting the burden for archiving elsewhere. That could be an external hard drive, or even a cloud server. In fact, if every flash memory plant in the world were to max out their production capacity, they would barely be able to achieve 25% of the storage shipped by mechanical hard drive vendors last year. That number in case you are interested is in the neighborhood of 400 exabytes.
With storage requirements growing by over 40 percent a year, solid state drive makers have their work cut out for them if they ever hope to catch up. SSD’s of course also have to find a way to address the problem of long term reliability as capacities increase. Of course we are paraphrasing a bit, so here it is in his own words:
"Our industry shipped 100 exabytes of data five years ago, 400 exabytes in 2011, and we’ll probably ship a zettabyte sometime between 2015 and 2016. A zettabyte is equal to all the data that’s been digitized from 1957 through 2010. Everything, however you want to think of it, cards, tapes, PCs, mainframes, client/server, minicomputers – one zettabyte. And we’re going to ship that in one year. So whatever the architecture is, pads, phones, notebooks, ultrabooks, real notebooks, PCs, servers, clouds, one year, a zettabyte – that’s all going to be on rotating mass storage."
Head on over to Forbes if you want to check out the full seven-page interview.