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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the prices-are-offers dept.

Data Storage 256

storagedude (1517243) writes "Flash storage costs have been dropping rapidly for years, but those gains are about to slow, and a number of issues will keep flash from closing the cost gap with HDDs for some time, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. As SSD density increases, reliability and performance decrease, creating a dilemma for manufacturers who must balance density, cost, reliability and performance. '[F]lash technology and SSDs cannot yet replace HDDs as primary storage for enterprise and HPC applications due to continued high prices for capacity, bandwidth and power, as well as issues with reliability that can only be addressed by increasing overall costs. At least for the foreseeable future, the cost of flash compared to hard drive storage is not going to change.'"

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RAID? (1, Interesting)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 5 months ago | (#46778499)

Doesn't creating a striped RAID make up most of the performance issues from using a HDD over a SSD? At that point, it's more the bus or CPU that's a limiting factor?

Re:RAID? (4, Insightful)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about 5 months ago | (#46778541)

IIRC it would take 5+ high end HDDs to match the read/write speeds of a decent SSD. Add to it that a RAID 0 has no safety so if 1 drive faults, the whole thing is done. A single SSD (like my Corsair Force GT) will r/w at ±500MBs. You just can't beat that right now.

Re:RAID? (4, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46778867)

PCIe SSDs are even faster. The one in the Mac Pro can hit 1gig read/write, for example.

You'd need a lot of disks to come even close to that. :)

Re:RAID? (5, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 months ago | (#46779175)

I was shocked when we got one of the MacPro6 units in, and I ran a disk benchmark on it. It was sustaining 950MB/sec, which is good enough to write 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 2k video at 117fps.

That is a realm you could only really get to with fiber channel previously, or a ridiculously expensive PCI-E card with SLC flash.

Re:RAID? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 months ago | (#46779425)

Thanks for posting real benchmarks. I can't afford/don't need a Mac Pro but if PCIe SSD become available on other systems, it's nice to know how fast it really operates.

Re:RAID? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46778913)

RAID 0 really only buys you throughput, and I don't think SSD really has any advantage over HD for throughput (I'm open to correction there).

The big difference is in seek time. RAID 1 is what buys you seek time for reads, and of course it has no safety issues. There is nothing that limits RAID 1 to only one mirror either beyond the implementation (mdadm supports any number of mirrors and will divide reads across them). Of course, if you have a RAID1 with 8 drives in it, and write is going to block across all 8 of them.

But, write performance on SSD isn't quite as good as read performance either.

So, I imagine whether RAID competes with SSD is going to depend on the task. Of course, you can always put SSDs in a RAID as well.

Re:RAID? (1)

entrigant (233266) | about 4 months ago | (#46779033)

You'd only need 5ish drives to match raw throughput, but to match IOPS, the more important factor in enterprise uses, you'd need 250 of the fastest 15k drives you can find just to match a single average SSD, and that's if you run them with RAID 0. If you wany any sort of redundancy that number is going to get a lot bigger.

Nearly every SAN out there offering flash capability is limited by the CPU, software, and bus speeds. SAN vendors also love to severely mark up flash drives.

Re:RAID? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778547)

For most applications, the performance bottleneck with a hard disk is seek latency, not raw streaming bandwidth. There is basically no way for a mechanical hard disk to match the seek performance of a SSD.

Re:RAID? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 months ago | (#46778801)

Multiple read heads! Cut seek time in half! (or quarter, or eighth depending on how crazy you want to go).

Re:RAID? (3, Insightful)

Calinous (985536) | about 5 months ago | (#46778879)

Seek time is the time for r/w head movement (closer or farther from the disk center) PLUS the wait time until the wanted data is rotated under the read/write head. So, unless you go with r/w heads for each sector on the hard drive, you can't reduce part of the seek time. And you could rotate the disks faster (like in SCSI 15k rpm disks), but there's a limit there too.
      Will HDDs ever be performance-competitive at the same cost to SSDs? At the current technology level, no. Will SSDs ever be price-competitive at the same capacity? Hardly, considering adding another platter and r/w head to a hard drive is a quite inexpensive way to increase capacity, while adding another set of flash memory chips is an expensive way to increase capacity.

(oh, and a read/write head for each data strip was used in the 50s and 60s - see magnetic drum memory).

Re:RAID? (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46779021)

> I was recently perusing the /dev directory on a next
> when I came upon the entry /dev/drum. This seemed a bit odd, I thought
> that drum memory went out of fashion long, long ago. The man pages
> didn't have anything to say about drum. Does any have any insight
> on this odd device entry?

This actually has nothing to do with drum memory. It's a part of the
UUCP system.

Long, long ago, even before version 6, somebody wanted to implement a
program to copy files between two machines running Unix. At the time
there were no modems becuase there weren't even any telephones. A
Bell Labs researcher who had just visited Africa seized upon the idea
of communicating by beating on drums, as the native Africans did. He
added a drum interface to his PDP-11 and the device driver was called,
of course, /dev/drum. Uucp would call a lower level program called
`bang' to activate this device driver. Messages could also be sent
manually by typing `bang drum' at your shell prompt. People soon
devised shell scripts that would take a mail message, convert it
appropriately, and call bang to send it. Soon they were sending
multi-hop messages though several sites this way, which is how the
`bang path' got its name.

With the advancements in communications technology (semaphores in
particular), /dev/drum was removed from UNIX around version 6 or 7, I
believe. The NeXT developers reinstated it on the NeXT because they
felt that a true multimedia machine should have as many options as
possible.

I hope this explanation helped.

cjs

curt@cynic.UUCP | "The unconscious self is the real genius.
curt@cynic.wimsey.bc.ca | Your breathing goes wrong the minute your
{uunet|ubc-cs}!van-bc!cynic!curt | conscious self meddles with it." --GBS

Re:RAID? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46778923)

That's basically what RAID1 gets you, though at a cost to write performance. You'll never beat SSD random write performance via RAID, though writes on SSDs can leave a bit to be desired as well.

Re:RAID? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 months ago | (#46779211)

Sure, but with SSD, you can hit whatever cell you want instantly. No waiting for the spindle to rotate to where it needs to be.

Re:RAID? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778551)

Doesn't creating a striped RAID make up most of the performance issues from using a HDD over a SSD? At that point, it's more the bus or CPU that's a limiting factor?

No RAID does not allow HDD to perform as SSDs. RAID increases throughput but it does not decrease access time, which in many cases is fare more important than throughput.

Having a seek time of 8ms when you are working with many small files is a huge hit on performance. The seek time of SSDs is well under a millisecond. RAID does not help this no matter how many disks you stripe.

Re:RAID? (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46778581)

No RAID does not allow HDD to perform as SSDs. RAID increases throughput but it does not decrease access time, which in many cases is fare more important than throughput.

RAID doesn't improve first access time, but good RAID improves non-sequential seek times.

Having a seek time of 8ms when you are working with many small files is a huge hit on performance. The seek time of SSDs is well under a millisecond.

Yes, for some workloads it is very important. But for many of those, there's prefetching.

Re:RAID? (4, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46778935)

No RAID does not allow HDD to perform as SSDs. RAID increases throughput but it does not decrease access time, which in many cases is fare more important than throughput.

Having a seek time of 8ms when you are working with many small files is a huge hit on performance. The seek time of SSDs is well under a millisecond. RAID does not help this no matter how many disks you stripe.

RAID does not always mean stripe. Mirroring does improve seek performance. It increases the chance that a drive has a head closer to the data you want already (if the implementation is smart enough to be aware of this), and it also allows seeks to occur in parallel (which isn't exactly the same as latency reduction, but is fairly equivalent in practice since drives are almost always busy).

Re:RAID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779473)

The parallelism of a mirror set does not help seek performance in complex tasks that have long chains of small reads or writes, such as large numbers of files or complex database operations. Often these cannot be RAM-cached to avoid real I/O stalls, due to having a large working set that causes caches to spill long before you would revisit particular data items.

An SSD works magic on these kinds of problems, to a qualitative degree that can be hard to appreciate without witnessing it first hand. Actually, OS boot time is a reasonable proxy for this kind of access pattern, and that is something everyone with an SSD observes as dramatically improved...

Re:RAID? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 5 months ago | (#46778553)

No.

Re:RAID? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#46778555)

I think with a properly set up system, RAID can speed it up considerably. I prefer the multi drive model for consumer systems though - a small SSD OS and application drive, a fat slow platter drive for storage of large media files, and an even fatter and slower drive for backups. 128GB/1TB/2TB is the system I have on my desktop.

Re:RAID? (4, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46778689)

So the backup disk is online in the same system? Sounds dangerous.

Re:RAID? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#46778873)

I have an external 2TB drive I use for backups. (In addition to DropBox for critical files, although I've been reconsidering that particular service lately.) I unplug it when not in use. So in the same system broadly, but not really. It's a consumer system, so no need to go as silly as having a separate BDR box.

Re:RAID? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46778899)

I don't know how his systems work but my PC works like this. I have a big disk with Linux and virtual machines. I have a SSD and a 2.5 HDD of the same capacity for Windows, and I periodically back up the SSD to the HDD. The backup is bootable and if the SSD fails I just get the HDD. All the data gets backed up to a disk on a pogoplug running Debian which is supposed to be on a separate UPS but isn't right now, at least it's not in the same machine. I don't store any big data on the Windows side, so that's only 160GB. The nearby disk is 3TB. I only get 10-18 MB/sec peak to/from that, depending on the client, which is a little poky for USB3 and GigE but within the acceptable range for most purposes. I had another disk hooked up directly to my PC which I mirrored to that network volume, but it died.

Re:RAID? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#46779095)

I've seen a couple hard drives in laptops that present themselves to the BIOS as multiple volumes, although I don't know what brand they are (if someone does know the make/model, please enlighten me). One had a 32 GB SSD partition, then a 512 GB HDD partition. Unlike drives that have an 8GB cache, having two volumes allows the OS, swap, perhaps an application to sit on one volume while everything else is on the HDD.

As for the backup hard disk, that is a wise idea as the first level of defense. It can't hurt to have another means of backup just in case malware nails that drive, but having the backup drive will counter a number of "oops" issues (deleted files, etc.)

Re:RAID? (3, Interesting)

omfgnosis (963606) | about 5 months ago | (#46778865)

Even if this were true, you're creating an artificial advantage. How will a RAID array of HDDs compare to a RAID array of SSDs?

Re:RAID? (4, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 5 months ago | (#46778915)

Absolutely not. Even 100 RAIDed HDDs (in any RAID type) will struggle to match the IOPS achieved with a single SSD.

Typical IOPS for a 7200 RPM HDD: 80

Typical IOPS for a modern consumer level SSD: 20,000-100,000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOPS [wikipedia.org]

Re:RAID? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 months ago | (#46779243)

This. People just don't get this.

Typical smallish RAID array is 16 drives.

RAID 5 IOPS for 7.2k drives - 675
RAID 5 IOPS for 15k drives - 1642
RAID 5 IOPS for SSD drive - 84,211

http://www.thecloudcalculator.... [thecloudcalculator.com]

In an environment running lots of small disk IO, like having a VM or fifty, only one of the above will give you good performance.

Re:RAID? (3, Informative)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | about 4 months ago | (#46779009)

Doesn't creating a striped RAID make up most of the performance issues from using a HDD over a SSD? At that point, it's more the bus or CPU that's a limiting factor?

No. My raid0 and Raid5 setups don't even come CLOSE to comparing to my SSDs. I've been running 2 SSD Raid0 and OMG the speed diff is absolutly crazy. Yes when one does all data is toast and they DO die. I was dumb and bought 3 OCZ drives and all 3 have died at least once in the last 1.5 years but the replacements have held up pretty well. I totally expect to lose one at any time so I have really good backups of my C: Drive :) everything else goes on my spinny platters.

Re:RAID? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 4 months ago | (#46779519)

What is the point of slicing SSDs? Seems like the law of diminishing returns takes effect. I'd mirror and take the small relative performance hit. I did some research on this when I set up my computer a year ago and it didn't seem worht it for the cost.

I ended up going with an SSD for the OS and 2 mirrored HDDs for reliable storage.

Re:RAID? (1)

jensend (71114) | about 4 months ago | (#46779391)

Absolutely not.

The main advantage of a SSD for most users is not the 5x faster sequential performance, it's the >100x faster access times. RAID does improve throughput but it does very little to improve access times and random IOPS.

Re:RAID? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 months ago | (#46779465)

For now it appears that the bus isn't the limiting factor. The HDDs themselves simply are not faster than SSDs. After all, spinning platters and mechanical read/write heads will be slower than silicon gates. Cost and capacity are the two main advantages of HDDs.

Disagree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778507)

I don't really have a specific argument about the numbers. Truthfully I couldn't pay attention long enough to really find a flaw in the argument. That said, my gut is telling me author is wrong. This article just gives off that vibe.

Also I just saw I think for the first time on slashdot one of those floating bottom banner ads. I fucking hate those. Bad enough when it's some site trying to get you to like them on facebook, but serving ads that way... fuck dice.

Re:Disagree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778575)

Hahaha disregard that, I suck cocks!!

Re:Disagree (1)

Roxoff (539071) | about 5 months ago | (#46778637)

I got all the way through the first page. The argument behind this seems to be that prices in the SSD world are higher than prices in the HDD world for technical reasons, and the technical reasons aren't going away so the price gap will remain. Until someone overcomes the technical problems, and the author, who is clearly a world leading expert in this field, doesn't know how the technical problems will be overcome. I think it'll take him by surprise when it happens.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778699)

the limitations are the physical limitations fundamental to flash storage itself, it is more likely that non flash based solid state drives will be required, so the argument is that this will take time (not that hard drives wont eventually get replaced)

Re:Disagree (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#46778941)

The article is mainly talking about from now will 2020. I'd have to agree I don't think it will happen by 2020. I suspect even by 2030 mass storage solutions on HDD will still be around. It took a very long time for HDD to kill off tape entirely.

Re:Disagree (2)

Sloppy (14984) | about 5 months ago | (#46778843)

I don't really have a specific argument about the numbers. Truthfully I couldn't pay attention long enough to really find a flaw in the argument. That said, my gut is telling me author is wrong.

Damn, why didn't I think of this?

People, is it true? Would the market bear a "Republican Technology News" site?

Oh realy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778509)

Captain obvious...

not really (4, Insightful)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 5 months ago | (#46778531)

Fairly sure that increases in capacity usually means increases in performance as well. I have not seen any ssd on the market today that illustrates otherwise.
We're down to less than .50$ a gig on ssds. Prices have been plummeting. You can get a 256 gig drive for ~100$ . 1TB drives have been almost hitting the $400 mark.
When 2TB ssd come on the market, you'll see the rest drop in price as well. I'm not quite sure where the author is getting their information. Check the price drops over the last two years and you can see they haven't hit bottom yet.

Re:not really (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about 5 months ago | (#46778633)

Only to a certain point does capacity increase equate to a performance increase in SSDs, and the gap closes very quickly. SSDs don't have things like spindle speeds and areal density to work with to increase throughput, nor do they need them.

My 60GB Corsair Force GT hits a few MB/s under 500MB/s in write speeds, and near 520MB/s in reads. At those speeds the difference between drives is in a few MB/s only. I'd be surprised to see a significantly larger SSD significantly increase speed over that. My 120GB OCZ drive only manages it by a couple MB/s.

Re:not really (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 5 months ago | (#46778721)

.....
Have you heard of IOPS?
I have never seen a smaller version ssd have a better IOPS number than a larger one.

Re:not really (1)

afidel (530433) | about 5 months ago | (#46778825)

I have never seen a smaller version ssd have a better IOPS number than a larger one.

I have, plenty of times, SLC has better IOPS/GB than MLC and within MLC eMLC has better IOPS/GB than tMLC. So for a given number of dollars the smaller drive will have better performance.

Re:not really (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 5 months ago | (#46778891)

Maybe i should have more strongly implied: Within the same series. Not across memory/technology types.

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779225)

Maybe i should have more strongly implied: Within the same series. Not across memory/technology types.

Well, yeah. Within the same series, a larger device typically just has more of the same type of memory chip as is in the smaller device. More chips => greater possible parallelism in accessing them => faster device, assuming neither the controller nor the bus is the limiting factor.

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778943)

There are cases when this is not true. Flash chips in SSD are accessed by "channels" and. The SSD controller will have many of them and can access them all simultaneously. More channels, more aggregate bandwith, more speed.

Some smaller SSDs have fewer flash chips and don't end up populating all of the channels, thus their performance is slower. With falling flash prices I don't think this is much of an issue anymore in 2014 but some small devices (Like mSATA SSDs) are space constrained are not able to fully populate an SSD controller's channel capacity.

Re:not really (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 4 months ago | (#46779123)

So for a given number of dollars the smaller drive will have better performance.

First, this is a red herring, since the price you pay for an SSD in a given size class won't buy you any significantly larger drive. So, a 60GB dog of an SSD for $60 is still far faster than the zero IOPS you get from a $60 120GB SSD. What you really need to compare is the cost per GB, because then you can compare things like the performance of a pair of 60GB drives in RAID-0 vs. a single 120GB.

That said, the primary factor in SSD speed is the number of controller channels that can be connected to the flash chips. For an example, see pretty much any review (like this one [techreport.com] ). Because of this, smaller drives always have lower performance. Even crossing manufacturers/lines can only rarely make this untrue, as a doubling of size doubles the channels, so the flash on a smaller drive would have to be more than twice as fast to make up the difference. And although you are correct that SLC is faster than MLC, it's not twice as fast.

So, if you can find a larger drive that costs less in total dollars than a smaller drive (and it is possible...there are a few 120GB drives that cost less than 60GB drives), in every case you will get astoundingly more for your money, as you get more storage and more channels used on the controller, which gives you more performance.

Re:not really (1)

afidel (530433) | about 4 months ago | (#46779163)

SLC is ~10x the IOPS/GB for random writes compared to MLC, reads are generally only 20-30% faster.

Re:not really (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 4 months ago | (#46779491)

Not in real world use. There are no 1M IOPS SLC SSDs (single drive), but there are plenty of 100K IOPS MLC SSDs.

As a matter of fact, this [wikipedia.org] seems to show that with the exception of the Fusion-io ioDrive2 SLC variant, all the top-performing single drive SSDs are MLC. And, the MLC variants of the ioDrive2 are only about 10% behind [fusionio.com] the SLC variant.

You can see from the Wikipedia article that what truly affects final throughput is the bus width and number of channels of SSD controller, just like I said. The fastest systems are just many MLC SSDs connected to a very fast bus.

Re:not really (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 5 months ago | (#46778767)

Where are you getting those prices? A quick check of newegg found the cheapest ssd at $160 for 240GB ($0.67/GB). On the other hand, a 10K RPM 1TB disk costs $200 ($0.20/GB). Are you comparing the cheapest consumer ssd to the most expensive enterprise hard disk?

Re:not really (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 5 months ago | (#46778817)

slickdeals.net

I'd say that still counts.
256GB SanDisk Ultra Plus 2.5" SATA III Solid State Drive $100 after $20 rebate + Free Shipping

Samsung 840 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III SSD MZ-7TE1T0BW $455 @ Amazon

historic low on the evo is 420$

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779357)

Where are you getting those prices? A quick check of newegg found the cheapest ssd at $160 for 240GB ($0.67/GB). On the other hand, a 10K RPM 1TB disk costs $200 ($0.20/GB). Are you comparing the cheapest consumer ssd to the most expensive enterprise hard disk?

Don't know about newegg, but I bought my 240GB SSD last month from dabs.com, where it cost about £75 =~ $125 == about 30p(50c)/GB. And not everyone needs a whole TB... but price per GB increases radically under that threshold. A 320GB HDD (the closest size readily available to the size of my SSD) comes in at £42 == about 15p(25c)/GB. While it's true that SSDs are still more expensive per GB, at the small end of the market it's close enough that if you don't need massive capacity the extra cost of an SSD isn't going to break the bank even in a budget machine.

Re:not really (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46778955)

When 2TB ssd come on the market, you'll see the rest drop in price as well. I'm not quite sure where the author is getting their information. Check the price drops over the last two years and you can see they haven't hit bottom yet.

Sure, but neither have hard drives. The 1TB SSD of tomorrow may very well be competitive with the 1TB HD of today, but will it be competitive against the 64TB HD of tomorrow?

Re:not really (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#46779035)

well, the thing is that hdd's keep getting faster and bigger too.

100 bucks buys you 3TB. for 300 bucks you can get 9TB. of course this is not "enterprise grade" but neither are such cheap ssds.

so the gap exists and will continue to exist - both go up in storage space but there's no reason to think why either one would stop growing in size. you can already get 4TB drives.

Re:not really (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 4 months ago | (#46779101)

The only speed increase you get out of harddrives is when density goes up.
Otherwise platter speeds have been more or less stuck at 5400/7200 rpms. Increased density has slowed down a lot in the past 5 years.
Eventually ssds will beat out harddrives in terms of price/capacity. They've already blown them away in terms of reliability and speed.

Price/Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779415)

It's try HDD will likely continue to get cheaper too. But, the question is not what is the absolute cheapest/GB. The question is, at what point cheaper space no longer a relevant metric?

We've already seen CPU speed increases essentially become irrelevant. We're pretty much there already with disk space as well (for typical consumers). Unless you're ripping or pirating Blue-Rays, running a PVR, or other tasks that include storing uncompressed HD video, what exactly are you going to fill up multiple TB with? Millions of songs? Billions of word processor documents? Thousands of games?

HDD will be around a LOOONG time for tasks that need huge storage (enterprise, video processing, etc), just like tape was around for a LOOONG time before HDD killed it. But, the masses have no real need for that kind of space. The masses get by quite nicely with tablets that have ~16GB of space.

Comments Being Truncated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778543)

WTF?

Reading through comments I start notice that some of them are cut off mid sentence. Investigating it a bit further, I notice that many of the comments are. Nothing to indicated this, other than poor grammar and no period (ie. - using ellipses '...' to indicate comment continues)

Anyone else notice this?

Anyone else think this is asinine?

Is there some behavio they are trying to encourage (ie - force)?

Re:Comments Being Truncated (4, Funny)

Roxoff (539071) | about 5 months ago | (#46778599)

No, it's not asinine, but a nod to the intellect of the reader. It demonstrates that the writer has confidence that the reader understands what they're saying. It demonstrates humour and it ...

We live like kings and queens already (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46778577)

Today we can have an SSD for the price of $0.50 / GB. It is already good enough.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (3, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 5 months ago | (#46778591)

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46778613)

Well, 256GB SSD ought to be enough for anybody, and is relatively affordable.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (4, Funny)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | about 5 months ago | (#46778739)

Well, 256GB SSD ought to be enough for anybody, and is relatively affordable.

enough is never enough.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779371)

The 512G SSD in my system is over 50% full ... And the 2TB RAID array is over 50% too... Ever since BillG told me 640k was enough...

Re:We live like kings and queens already (4, Informative)

jythie (914043) | about 5 months ago | (#46778751)

I think one of the big bonuses of the SSDs hitting the mainstream is people (and manufacturers) are re-examining how much capacity people actually need. For a while there was a trend of just throwing the biggest drives possible at every machine made since a bigger number looks better then a smaller number on marketing material, but it meant a lot of people bought computers with drives that far exceeded their actual use cases.

For most people 256GB is more then enough, depending on how they are using it. Though it is no where near enough for other uses.

Personally for my use case, I have both. a 128GB drive for OS and applications, and 1TB HDD for data. If I kept my data on the SSD it would fill up rapidly, so it is not enough for this 'anybody' at least, and I know people who burn through space a lot faster then I do.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779273)

The rubs are....
1) drive performance decreases as it fills up. Max you want to fill a drive is 75% and ideally you show be floating around 50-60% full.
2) That 1TB drive isn't really 1TB more like 900GB

So in all honestity, that 1TB is giving you ~500GB of good usable space.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#46778925)

I have a 1st year MBPr. 256g SSD has been constraining. I wish I had gone for the 512g option even at close to $2/g at the time.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 4 months ago | (#46779277)

Well, 256GB SSD ought to be enough for anybody, and is relatively affordable.

Well, that depends on what you are doing on your machine. If you are a gamer, with game installs running from 20 to 50 GB (I'm looking at you Titanfall!) a 256GB system drive won't go far.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46778609)

I just upgraded my 1TB to a 480GB Crucial M500 for $220 so I totally agree. A year ago it was closer to $500

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778661)

We go through this with every technology. Things will never get better if you think they're good enough. What if society thought computers were "good enough" 30 years ago? We'd still be using monochrome/hercules graphics with rudimentary sound capability with tiny CRT monitors on desktop computers that are a fraction of the speed of our most basic phones these days.

It's not good enough, and never will be.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 5 months ago | (#46778693)

More importantly, you need new things to sell. Even if what we've got was good enough, there's an entire industry (well, several) focused on coming up with better and then convincing us that we want it. Personally I see this as a good thing.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 5 months ago | (#46778717)

Today we can have an SSD for the price of $0.50 / GB. It is already good enough.

I can get a 1TB SATA hdd for $69 at Best Buy. How much would a 1TB SSD cost?

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46778827)

It would cost $500.

Re:We live like kings and queens already (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778983)

Today we can have an SSD for the price of $0.50 / GB. It is already good enough.

I can get a 1TB SATA hdd for $69 at Best Buy. How much would a 1TB SSD cost?

Perhaps the more pointed question as you sit here and bitch about the cost of larger capacity SSDs is your need to have that much storage...

Or anyone's need for that matter. How many brand-new computers are shipped with 500GB or more that sit empty...

ummmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778601)

not buying into SSD bullshit

thats why its nto comin g down anytime soon

the article tells you why

its crappy technology

Re:ummmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779117)

retard. Keep using your trusty tandy.

oh how wrong this is (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46778603)

A 480GB Crucial M500 is slightly cheaper per GB than a 4TB spinning drive right now. I think the 960GB SSD is as well.

Re:oh how wrong this is (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 5 months ago | (#46778679)

Say what?!?
Crucial M500 480GB = $240 or $.50/GB
WD BLACK SERIES WD4003FZEX 4TB = $260 or $.065/GB
Seagate NAS HDD ST3000VN000 3TB = $139 or $.046/GB

prices are current at newegg

The HDD's are around 10x as cheap per GB.

Re:oh how wrong this is (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46778747)

A 480GB Crucial M500 is slightly cheaper per GB than a 4TB spinning drive right now. I think the 960GB SSD is as well.

Where are you shopping? Crucial M500 480GB $240 [newegg.com] is $.50 per GB. Seagate 4TB $165 [newegg.com] is $.04 per GB.

Re:oh how wrong this is (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 5 months ago | (#46778761)

A 480GB Crucial M500 is slightly cheaper per GB than a 4TB spinning drive right now. I think the 960GB SSD is as well.

That comparison is meaningless because a 4TB is at a premium price. If you think you need 500GB, use should compare a 500GB HDD with an SSD (480GB being close enough). I can get a 500GB 7200RPM SATA drive for about $50. A Crucial M500 is about $120. The SSD is 140% more costly or 2.4 times the price per GB.

Re:oh how wrong this is (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 4 months ago | (#46779057)

A 480GB Crucial M500 is slightly cheaper per GB than a 4TB spinning drive right now. I think the 960GB SSD is as well.

That comparison is meaningless because a 4TB is at a premium price. If you think you need 500GB, use should compare a 500GB HDD with an SSD (480GB being close enough). I can get a 500GB 7200RPM SATA drive for about $50. A Crucial M500 is about $120. The SSD is 140% more costly or 2.4 times the price per GB.

Even that comparison is a poor one. Really this all depends on your mission.

If all you want is an OS drive for your Chromebook/etc, then you want to look at the cost of 16-32GB of SSD and that is as cheap as any hard drive you could get in that size configuration. The SSD is an obvious choice here.

If you want to store your video collection and your options are RAID HD or SSD, then you don't care how big the individual drives are so you look at price per GB. That usually will end up costing $80-110 for the hard drive in any year - the only thing that changes is the size. That will get you about 2-3TB of HD, which is about 4 cents/GB. Compare that to something like 50 cents/GB for SSD. Clearly if you're storing video the SSD is a really bad choice.

When you look at HD prices you need to stay close to $100. You don't save much money by cutting capacity below that, and you don't get much capacity by spending more than that. I'm not as familiar with the dynamics of SSD, but I imagine that they too tend to have a sweet spot, and it only makes sense to compare apples to apples.

Re:oh how wrong this is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779177)

That comparison is meaningless because a 4TB is at a premium price. If you think you need 500GB, use should compare a 500GB HDD with an SSD (480GB being close enough). I can get a 500GB 7200RPM SATA drive for about $50. A Crucial M500 is about $120. The SSD is 140% more costly or 2.4 times the price per GB.

You're off by a factor of two -- the $120 price you're looking at is for the 240GB M500, not the 480GB. That's $230, so the SSD is 5x more expensive per GB.

Plus, you're wrong that 4TB drives are at a premium. (6TB are, but not 4TB.) A 4TB drive today is about $200, which is half the per-GB price of the 500GB hard drive. In other words, the 480GB M500 is about 8x more expensive per GB than the 4TB hard drive, not cheaper.

So the commenter you're replying to isn't making an unfair comparison, he's flat-out wrong. (He probably lost a zero in the math.)

Re:oh how wrong this is (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 4 months ago | (#46779229)

That comparison is meaningless because a 4TB is at a premium price. If you think you need 500GB, use should compare a 500GB HDD with an SSD (480GB being close enough).

Although 4TB drives are still at a premium, I don't think it's unreasonable to compare a much larger spinning disk, as you can get a 3TB drive for around $110.

I can get a 500GB 7200RPM SATA drive for about $50. A Crucial M500 is about $120.

And the problem here is that you're comparing a 500GB spinning drive to a 240GB SSD. If you truly want to compare space to space, then you'd need to spend around $240 for a 480-500GB SSD. That makes the SSD 4.8x as much money, and around 10x more per GB. And, it's even worse with a 3TB disk, as it's still half the price of the ~500GB SSD, but has 6x the space, making the SSD cost 12x per GB.

That said, I've got SSDs as boot disks in all my systems, but obviously use hard drives to store large amounts of data.

Proof (0)

Anrego (830717) | about 5 months ago | (#46778607)

With enough numbers and pages tedious explanation, you can basically say anything you want.

Re:Proof (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46779401)

Forfty percent of people know that.

Tape drives (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778651)

Hard drives never completely obsoleted tape drives, and SSDs will probably never obsolete all hard drives, unless they can amazingly close the gap between SSDs ($0.50/GB) and tape drives ($0.01/GB).

Re:Tape drives (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 months ago | (#46778977)

It could conceivably happen. We'll need a breakthough of some sort but these do happen a lot in the tech industry. A factor that will keep HDD prices high is precision mechanical parts are expensive to manufacture.

There are other techs waiting in doorway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778703)

Good thing there are other technologies to replace flash that will be around factors of 10 lower cost, and higher in speed.

Samsung, IBM and several Universities have new tech working out towards mass production levels as we sit and read this article.

Just a faulty prediction. They'll still be called SSDs or flash drives as the nomenclature no longer specifically refers to the tech inside, but the form factor.

Re:There are other techs waiting in doorway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778743)

Citation needed.

Re:There are other techs waiting in doorway... (3, Interesting)

Calinous (985536) | about 5 months ago | (#46778933)

10 times ago I heard about IBM and others working on new technologies to replace memory. Holographic cubes, MRAM, ... Are they still 10 years away?

Depends (2)

fermion (181285) | about 5 months ago | (#46778741)

if you are talking about throw away worker drones or server machines, then no. There is no data on these machine, the costs to swap them out are minimal. I recall a place that had racks of a few hundred machines, a dedicated person to swap them out, and two died a day. Putting anything but the cheapest product in there would have been a waste of money. But the data machines, those were special. Probably cost more than the combined servers the fed to.

Likewise, worker bee machines that are pretty much dumb terminals are not going to use SSD. But other machines that people actually do and store work on, that may be something different.

Look, tape is on the order of penny per gigabyte. Hard disks are somewhere between 5-10 cents a gigabyte. SSD is about 50 cents a gigabyte. Many people still back up onto hard disk even though tape is more reliable. We are going to use SSD because there are benefits that justify the order of magnitude increase.

Re:Depends (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#46779131)

worker bees can use ssd.

because they don't need to store weeks worth of video.

duh (1)

markhahn (122033) | about 5 months ago | (#46778783)

with spinning rust, you might re-engineer the bulk process that coats your disks, but the boost in recording density depends on changing the parameters of the head. bulk process and one device. compare to flash, where to boost density, you have to tweak each storage cell, controlling for defects and manufacturing flaws, where the yield of each cell multiplies, so defects are exponentially likely.

disks (and to some extent tape) will always have scaling advantages over litho-fabed storage.

you can certainly argue that latency and bandwidth also suffer by the same process - but for the most part, disk performance really is fast enough for most uses. it's a bit surprising that more disk vendors haven't tossed onboard a small flash chip (to all lines of HDs).

HDDs irrelevant soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778807)

The sizes of SSDs which are readily available and affordable are big enough not to leave most consumers wanting for more. In the 90s I used to pay more per HDD than I do now for SSDs (unit price, nevermind the price per GB). Half of all drives I bought in the last two years are SSDs. I haven't bought a maximum capacity HDD in five years. HDDs are running into serious technological problems: The next step is shingled recording, which will bring the problem of write amplification to HDDs, slowing them down even more in return for higher storage density. HDDs are rapidly becoming a specialty product for businesses with unusually high capacity storage requirements.

We do not need solid state to replace platter driv (4, Interesting)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about 5 months ago | (#46778811)

We need reliable hybrid drives with 120-160+ GBs of flash memory, instead of the ridiculously worthless 4-8 GB ones we have now.

A hybrid with a 1:30 or 1:20 ratio of flash to platter (200 GB for 4 TB for instance) would pretty much be perfect for anyone, even enterprise applications if RAID controllers cooperated with the hybrid caching properly.

We do not need 100% flash, just give us a practical median.

In fact, I guarantee if someone made a hard drive with a controller with an mSATA slot for adding a SSD and offered the controller to be setup as pass-through (act as two drives) or caching (SSD keeps a cache of platter), it would sell like crazy.

An mSATA would fit easily beneath a standard 3.5 inch platter hard drive.

http://www.notebookreview.com/... [notebookreview.com]

Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779435)

I disagree. Sure, most people don't need an SSD. However, they are really nice. I picked up my first one a few years ago and use it for OS and frequently used software only, my primary storage HDD holds everything else. Having your OS on SSD really does make everything feel much snappier; it isn't just about boot time.

I had the option of going with hybrid. They are great for average consumers but most of us technically inclined people would greatly benefit from being able to control what is on flash and what isn't, so SSD+HDD, or at least a user-configurable hybrid, is a better solution.

article is a bit weird (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#46778901)

The article is a bit weird. It keeps saying to ignore consumer: low price, cheap parts, focus on mobility as inapplicable to enterprise. But then it focus on enterprises disks that aren't far removed from consumer models rather than enterprise models like IBM's flash solutions (ex 840: 33T per U so more than 1P per rack). If we are going to look at enterprise flash I don't understand why you would focus on smaller solutions. Obviously the $8-14g price is even higher but it is at those price points that flash makes sense because it is allowing virtualization to replace multiple servers and thus replacing real estate, network and energy costs not raw HDD costs.

I guess if the article is just saying that mid sized server solutions (say $5-100k) are unlikely to go all SSD before 2020 I have to agree. But I think it should have been more specific. Once you exclude the consumer space and the mass storage space we are probably talking a tiny fraction of the whole HDD market.

Worth it if you can afford it. (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46778903)

I have a 120 gig Sandisk Extreme 2 SSD and as a performance upgrade, you really can't do better than an SSD, assuming a minimum of 4 GB of ram. I was a little skeptical of claims when I bought it, but I can vouch that people aren't messing around when they talk about instant boot and zero-second loads times for applications. Mileage may vary depending on the brand and model, research and watch the specs closely. A paltry 120 gigs by itself is not enough for me or most people these days so I balance things out by installing the OS and applications on the SSD, while most files go onto a hard drive. This means a slight change in workflow, but it is entirely worth it.

The why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46778985)

Flash storage is more than .50$ a dedicated person to use cases. For most people (and manufacturers) are pretty much dumb terminals are talking about to hard disk even though tape is no where the $400 mark. When 2TB ssd on the rest drop in there are pretty much dumb terminals are talking about 50 cents a smaller number of magnitude increase. "Flash storage costs have not in capacity people who must balance density, cost, reliability and store work on, that increases in price as well. I'm not seen any ssd come on these machine, the order of people bought computers with drives have both. a 256 gig on the biggest drives possible at least, and 1TB drives that far exceeded their information. Check the data on ssds. Prices have an external 2TB ssd on the market, you'll see the last two years and you are somewhere between 5-10 cents a bigger number of the big bonuses of the combined servers the same system broadly, but not going to continued high prices for my use SSD. But other uses. Personally for critical files, although I've been almost hitting the rest drop in there was a place that may be addressed by increasing overall costs. At least for the cheapest product in performance as well. I'm not going to slow, and HPC applications due to swap them out are somewhere between 5-10 cents a separate BDR box. Fairly sure where near enough for the biggest drives have an external 2TB ssd.

Re:The why (1)

amalcolm (1838434) | about 4 months ago | (#46779087)

Sorry, that is totally unintellegible

Why is "power" supposedly an issue? (2)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#46779145)

due to continued high prices for capacity, bandwidth and power

How the hell is power an issue? SSD's consume something around 1/100th of the power that a hard drive does.

Artificially inflated cost for SSD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779403)

SSD will have an artificially inflated cost for a while because if they went and dropped the price of SSD to hard drive prices then no one would really buy that many HD's especially in SAN's and this would cause such an uproar in the industry that create the platter drives. It would practically put most of those businesses under.

Thai floods and Sumitomo explosions (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 4 months ago | (#46779507)

Platter drives have been artificially held high for the past few years... and it will burn them unless they start budging on capacity and price, as SSDs will continue to drop.

With 5TB and 6TB drives finally making it out into the consumer space, platter drive pricing may finally start dropping, but will it be too little too late? Will there be enough of a market now in the consumer space to support the larger drives? I suspect the average user has plenty of storage already - perhaps to the point of full porn saturation - but more seriously... how much drive space does Grandma need for her cat pictures and baby videos? 2TB is probably more than enough, and within the year, she'll be able to save all that to a 2TB SSD that boots her e-mail/web browsing machine in an eyeblink.

Of course, the platter drive makers have brought on this trouble themselves... like the DRAM price gouging back in 1994 (The Sumitomo explosion supposedly endangered epoxy resin supplies, prices of RAM tripled overnight), platter drive makers have taken the same opportunity to create a scarcity to drive prices up and keep them up. They also delayed higher capacity platter drives, giving the SSD makers an opportunity to catch up. They can't keep this up and stay in business.

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