Demand for Cheaper SSDs for Frontline Storage Growing

By Stuart J. Johnston

A new IBM-funded survey released Tuesday finds that almost half of IT decision makers favor solid-state disk (SSD) storage over hard-disk drives (HDD) and flash memory.

The survey, which was conducted by Zogby International, polled 250 U.S IT decision makers during August 2011, according to the survey report.

Almost 43 percent of respondents said they are either already using SSDs or planning to use them in the future and, among those, 75 percent said their motivation was to speed data delivery.

Of those respondents not already using SSDs, however, the majority -- 71 percent -- cited cost as the main limiting factor. Despite the cost drawbacks, though, 57 percent of all respondents said their organizations need to develop a new storage approach in order to deal with future growth.

That's not surprising in light of the fact that user data is currently doubling every two years, according to the latest IDC Digital Universe Study released in June -- that study was funded by storage giant EMC.

IBM and other SSD vendors and researchers are moving aggressively to address IT's need for less expensive, faster, more compact solid-state memory.

"Today, an average transaction-driven datacenter uses approximately 1,250 racks of storage, taking up 13,996 square feet and 16,343 kilowatts (kw) of power. By 2020, storage-class memory could enable the same amount of data to fit in one rack that takes up 11 square feet and 5.8 kws of power," the IBM survey report said.

That helps explain why more than a third of respondents -- 38 percent -- told Zogby that their organization's storage needs are growing primarily to drive business value from data, as well as meeting requirements for government compliance and regulations -- 29 percent.

Meanwhile, 43 percent said they are "concerned" about managing growing amounts of Big Data, while 48 percent said they plan to increase storage investments in the area of virtualization.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

This article was originally published on September 22, 2011