Hard drive prices going up: Backblaze predicts HDD prices will fall to 1¢/GB by mid-2025 – Blocks and Files

Backblaze predicts HDD prices will fall to 1¢/GB by mid-2025 – Blocks and Files

Disk drive price falls in $/GB terms are continuing at a slower rate than before but are set to reach one US cent per GB, according to Backblaze.

This is shown in a blog by Andy Klein, an evangelist at Backblaze with the very modern title of Principle Storage Cloud Storyteller.

He says Backblaze was buying hard disk drives (HDDs) at more than $0.11 per GB in 2009 when it launched. By 2017 that had fallen to just under $0.03/GP with 8TB drives, and this year it is at $0.014/GB with 16TB drives. To date, Backblaze has bought around 265,300 HDDs. The vendor says it pays more than the lowest street price to get assured delivery times for the large numbers of drives required for its cloud storage business.

Klein has charted the declines by HDD capacity point since 2009:

The overall downward trend has been interrupted several times. His chart shows 2TB drives costing more than 1. 5TB drives for several months in 2009-2010. The same happened with 4TB and 3TB drives in late 2011 and 2012-2013, also with 6TB and 4TB drives in 2014-2015. Backblaze paid more for 8TB drives in 2016 than both 6TB and 4TB drives.

The 2011-2013 price discontinuity “was due primarily to the Thailand drive crisis which began in the second half of 2011 and continued to affect the market into 2013 before things got back to normal,” said Klein.

He says there has been an 87.4 percent $/GB decrease since 2009, from $0.114 to just over $0.014.

HDD prices for Backblaze decreased 9 percent per year from 2017 to November 2022 taking into account the four drive sizes it bought – 8TB, 12TB, 14TB and 16TB – and he has charted these specific declines:

The total $/GB decline over this period is 56.36 percent. This chart and the preceding one shows that the steepness of the price decline curve is lessening.

Typically a new drive capacity point costs more per GB at the start of a purchase run than the preceding drive’s capacity point at that time. The chart shows this with the 12 to 14TB transition and the 14 to 16TB transition. Klein also noted: “The cost per gigabyte of a drive will fall on average about 0.5 percent per month over time, slowly at first, then accelerating for some period before bottoming out. In nearly every case, the cost per gigabyte of each new drive size introduced will eventually fall below that of its predecessor.”

He said he thinks “the next milestone we can see is $0.01 per gigabyte for a hard drive” as a stable street price, and suggested: “Let’s go out on a limb and say that we will reach that in mid-2025 with 22TB or 24TB drives. That would mean you could buy a 22TB drive at Costco or on Amazon for about $220, or a 24TB for $240.”

Klein doesn’t know how low the $/GB number can go. If HDD manufacturers can continue adding capacity per drive and, if the technology needed does not cost more per GB than the technology it displaces, then price declines per GB could continue for several years more.

No more hard drives will be sold after 2028 – Blocks and Files

In the latest blast of the HDD vs SSD culture wars, a Pure Storage exec is predicting that no more hard disk drives will be sold after 2028 because of electricity costs and availability, as well as NAND $/TB declines.

Shawn Rosemarin

Shawn Rosemarin, VP R&D within the Customer Engineering unit at Pure, told B&F: “The ultimate trigger here is power. It’s just fundamentally coming down to the cost of electricity.” Not the declining cost of SSDs and Pure’s DFMs dropping below the cost of disks, although that plays a part.

In his view: “Hard drive technology is 67 years old. We need to herald this technology that went from five megabytes the size of this room to where we are today. And even the latest HAMR technology, putting a laser on the top of the head in order to heat up the platters, is pretty remarkable … But we’re at the end of that era.”

HDD vendors sing a different tune, of course. Back in 2021, HDD vendor Seagate said the SSD most certainly would not kill disk drives. There’s a VAST vs Infinidat angle to it as well, with the former also stating disk drive IO limitations would cripple the use of larger disk drives in petabyte-scale data stores, with Infidat blasting back that it “must be joking.”  Gartner has had a look in too, claiming that enterprise SSDs will hit 35 percent of HDD/SSD exabytes shipped by 2026 – though that would make Rosemarin’s 2028 cutoff unlikely. Pure recently stated SSDs would  kill HDDs in a crossover event that would happen “soon.”

Rosemarin, meanwhile, continued his argument: “Our CEO in many recent events has quoted that 3 percent of the world’s power is in datacenters. Roughly a third of that is storage. Almost all of that is spinning disk. So if I can eliminate the spinning disk, and I can move to flash, and I can in essence reduce the power consumption by 80 or 90 percent while moving density by orders of magnitude in an environment where NAND pricing continues to fall, it’s all becoming evident that hard drives go away.

Are high electricity prices set to continue?

“I think the UK’s power has gone up almost 5x recently. And here’s the thing … when they go up, they very seldom if ever come down … I’ve been asked many times do I think the cost of electricity will drop over time. And, frankly, while I wish it would and I do think there are technologies like nuclear that could help us over time. I think it’ll take us several years to get there.”

“We’re already seeing countries putting quotas on electricity, and this is a really important one… we’ve already seen major hyperscalers such as one last summer who tried to enter Ireland [and] was told you can’t come here, we don’t have enough power for you.” 

“The next logical step from that is OK, so now if you’re a company and I start to say, well, we only have so much power, so I’m gonna give you X amount of kilowatts per X amount of employees, or I’m gonna give you X amount of kilowatts for X amount of revenue that you contribute to the GDP of the country or whatever metric is acceptable.

Electricity availability is going to become a factor in siting or expanding datacenters, not just price. Which brings Rosemarin to this point:

“Today, it’s economically unfeasible for many customers to run their entire estate in hard drives. But it’ll actually become impossible. You’ll actually be limited from a density and power consumption perspective of how much data you can actually support. Now (CIOs) go to your organization and say that, based on our power footprint, or allocation or quota, these are the projects I can support. And you now need to constrain how much data you consume or how much data you need.”

This will not be a popular message, not when the latest AI/ML trends are increasing unstructured data storage needs: “Couple that with what’s happened in the last three months, which says all of our projections of data growth were based on what we knew, and now when we look at what’s happening with ChatGPT, and AI developing all this content for us, when we think about the amount of video and audio files that will be created by AI over the next few years, I’m not even sure any of our projections are even within the realm of reasonability of where we’re actually going.

In summary: “You take this problem and it gets continuously worse in terms of how much data are we going to need to support with the coming advent of this pressure on electricity?”

If Rosemarin’s view is right – Pure competes with HDD makers – then there is going to be a mass move to replacing HDD arrays and filers with flash. None of the hyperscalers have yet announced such a move. If one of them does then this will be a signal that Pure Storage is not alone on its belief that power costs and availability combined with declining NAND acquisition costs and NAND’s total lifetime cost advantage over spinning disk make HDDs unfeasible in the future.

Prices for hard drives began to rise

TV Toshiba C450KE — a window to a new world

A high-quality modern TV allows you to visit the multiverse of exciting content by pressing one button, to feel yourself in the center of events and to fully experience the atmosphere conceived by the authors. The transition from reality to the television image should be smooth, and ideally not noticeable at all. And Toshiba C450KE has everything you need: a QLED screen with a wide choice of diagonals (43, 50, 55 or 65 inches), 4K resolution, HDR10+ and powerful immersive Dolby Atmos sound.

Read more

  • Enthusiast assembled an exoskeleton for arm wrestling and fought strongmen (video)

    Video blogger Allen Pen decided to resist bodybuilders by compensating for his usual physique with an exoskeleton. Putting it on, he went to Muscle Beach — the concentration of athletes in Santa Monica.

    Read more

  • New spherical bot can fly and roll on the ground (video)

    Arizona-based Revolute Robotics has unveiled a fun yet effective Hybrid Mobility Robot (HMR), which is a rotating spherical cage with a multicopter inside. The development is useful for extreme situations: in the mining industry, for assessing the structural integrity of old mines and, of course, for …

    Read more

  • Now just «X»: Elon Musk changed the name of Twitter and not only (4 photos)

    Elon Musk kept his word by launching a complete rebranding of the social network Twitter. Users have already begun to see a completely new logo, and you can go to the service website at a different address. In addition, other upcoming changes have been announced.

    Read more

  • The most powerful Russian quantum computer

    At the last technological forum, the most powerful quantum computer in Russia with 16 qubits was presented, which can be used for the most complex calculations for modeling the molecular structure.

    Read more

  • Vkontakte

    The largest American Internet portal Camelegg.com, specializing in price comparisons of goods, has provided data according to which the increase in the price of hard drives, which analysts warned about a few weeks ago, has begun. The reason for the increase in the price of disks is known — a flood in Thailand, which forced hard disk manufacturers to stop up to 60% of the world’s hard disk production. According to Camelegg, Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive (Model ST310000524AS) is now priced at $149$. 99, while two weeks ago it cost $49.99. Another popular consumer model is the Western Digital 1TB 7200 RPM (model RE4 WD1003FBYX) for $249.99, up from $107.99. Another leader of the ratings — Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 7200 RPM (model HDS721010DLE630) increased in price from $64.99 to $149.99. Other popular consumer models have risen in price on a similar scale.

    Analyst firm IDC says that after a year-over-year growth, the personal computer industry is likely to decline in the next two quarters due to flooding in Thailand, which triggered a shortage of PC components. Severe damage to manufacturing facilities and supporting infrastructure will result in the industry missing approximately 40% of the required hard drives and a number of other critical components for PCs, laptops, servers and other computing nodes.

    IDC estimates that up to half of the hard drive manufacturing facility is now damaged and needs to be repaired. As a result, the industry will be short of approximately 10% off-the-shelf hard drives in the current quarter, and the shortfall will only widen in the coming two quarters.

    «It is not yet possible to determine exactly when hard drive production will return to normal. It will be possible to do this only after the water leaves the main production centers,» IDC notes. Analysts say that in the worst case, in the first quarter of 2012, the shortage will be about 20%, and in the second — 40%.

    Source: cybersecurity.ru

    JavaScript is disabled in your browser. For correct operation of the site is highly recommended to enable it.

    Hard drives in the data center today and tomorrow

    In recent years, manufacturers of solid state drives (SSD) have been talking about their high speed and unsurpassed reliability compared to hard drives in recent years. Result SSD s have replaced hard drives in many areas, especially in the consumer segment. However, data centers still cannot do without hard disks.

    Many people think that hard drives are already losing the competition, but before making a final choice, you need to carefully consider all the factors. Comparing a 2500 GB/s SSD with 100K IOPS to the fastest 250 MB/s 300 IOPS HDD. It seems that the benefits are obvious — but do not rush to conclusions. In a datacenter environment, it’s not fair to simply compare the performance of one SSD to the merits of one hard drive, as we would when choosing a laptop. Today’s storage systems use hundreds of these devices, handling petabytes of data.

    When purchasing hardware for large-scale, high-capacity storage, price/gigabyte is a key consideration, and hard drives win in this regard. In the past decade, enterprise HDDs and enterprise SSDs have made a huge price/gigabyte difference. And even with the cost reduction of SSDs, there is still a nearly 8x price/gigabyte difference between these devices (when compared in the same use case and quality level). In the foreseeable future, the price dynamics is unlikely to change, and if the cost of these devices ever equals, it will not happen until the 2030s. The fact is that although the prices of SSDs of a certain capacity are declining, the development of hard drive technology still provides superiority in terms of value. Hard drive capacities continue to grow, making their price/gigabyte ratio the best on the market.

    Even if tomorrow the price/gigabyte ratio of HDDs suddenly equals SSDs, you simply won’t have the flash power to replace all HDDs with their SSD counterparts. According to a report by analyst firm Gartner, in 2019, hard drives sold a total of 890 exabytes, and solid-state drives sold 153 exabytes, which is only 16% of the volume of hard drives. Interestingly, due to the 8x price/gigabyte difference, the total cost of all these hard drives could buy far fewer SSDs.

    To completely replace hard drives with solid state drives would require a sixfold increase in the production of the latter. At the same time, hundreds of billions of dollars would have to be spent on launching new laboratories just to double production, and trillions of dollars would be required to increase production by 6 times. Moreover, these scales of production will only be enough to create containers equivalent to the volume of sales in 2019. The thousands of exabytes we need in 2023 and beyond will require many more.

    So don’t rely on flash only. The rise in cloud usage during the pandemic has only increased the demand for hard drives in data centers. This is confirmed by a recent report from Statista, according to which in the coming years, the supply of large volume enterprise hard drives will only grow.

    A single hard drive is known to be more than ten times slower than a similar solid state drive. But when it comes to storage systems of huge scale, everything is not so simple. With a thoughtful architecture, multiple hard drives can be combined to provide the same level of performance as solid state storage systems at the same cost. At Toshiba Lab, we analyzed architectures consisting of 24-60 hard drives in both RAID10 and software configurations. The power of such architectures exceeded 10,000 IOPS and 5 GB / s. Thus, when it comes to high-capacity storage, a multi-HDD solution (at a much lower unit price) is much more cost effective than a multi-SSD system (where each drive costs much more).

    Hard disk storage systems are generally considered to consume more power, but experts often overestimate the cost of powering heavily deployed systems. Storage often consumes less power than you might think, especially when modern, low-power, high-capacity helium-filled disks are used. Another argument made by manufacturers of SSDs is the fact that they are more reliable than HDDs because they have no moving mechanisms. This is also an exaggeration: the service life of modern enterprise hard drives with an average time to the first failure of up to 2.5 million hours is not much different from solid state drives. What’s more, HDDs can be written to an unlimited number of times during their lifetime, while SSDs have a limited resource. Given the ever-increasing workloads in public data centers, this can be called an undeniable advantage.

    So, based on current prices and future cost projections, hard drives are still the most cost-effective way to store large amounts of data.