Is the hard drive becoming obsolete...

Currently hard drives rely on SATA III and until recent years the utmost speed of 6GB per second has been fine. They have been able to keep up with speeds of wired and wireless technology – but for how long? Faster data transfer speeds such as 5G which gives 1TB per second, mean that the hard disk drive may soon struggle to keep up.

This is where solid state drives (SSDs) may well be the answer. Users are becoming more aware of the benefits of SSD and one in three laptops now use this technology. Certainly we expect to see a drop off in hard drive usage for consumers, especially as mobile devices become more popular. However, solid state drives are still more expensive than their equivalent hard drives and the price per gigabyte is unlikely to drop significantly any time soon. With businesses and data centres consuming vast amounts of data, price is critical and they may well spell the future for hard drives.

Similarly we must remember that unlike planar 2D technology which is now spent and non-scalable, hard disk drives still have plenty of life left in them. New developments and greater densities are constantly evolving and in our opinion hard drive still represent the immediate future. Would all the hard drive manufacturers still be pumping huge resources into hard drive technology if they really thought it was on the way out?

Cloud storage is the new kid on the block and many feel that all data will soon be stored ‘online’. User devices will become ‘dumb’ terminals – simply puppets that are powered by operating systems, applications and data that is stored on the cloud. As long as the user has a fast wired or wireless interface, there is no need to store anything locally. This may well be true as connectivity improves, but these data centres storing all your information still need hard drives. This idea of ‘dumb’ terminals is a little way off yet, but may well spell the end for consumer hard drives?