The “Great Decline” of High Capacity Disk Drive Sales

Blocks & Files just published an interesting piece showcasing how fewer large capacity Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are being shipped than last year (let alone, last quarter) and by a significant amount. About 1/5 less HDDs are being shipped today, than they were last year around the same time. This is significant. Additional data from the top HDD manufacturers also show that the larger the capacity, the fewer the sales. I guess that would make total sense if your digital footprint hasn’t grown or needed to scale with hard drive replacements.

What adds to this is the fact that prices are going down with the larger capacity NVMe drives. This gives HDD technologies a bit of competition. Why settle for just capacity when you can also get the performance with it?

Although, this has and continues to raise the same key concern that I have always had: fault tolerance. I shared some of those concerns back in May when writing about the Nimbus Forever Lasting SSD. The larger the drive, the more risk of failure and without the proper measures in place to tolerate any and all sorts of failures, you run the risk of losing all of your data. That risk is even higher with rotational HDD media (more movable components).

Another question we should be asking ourselves is: are manufacturers increasing drive capacities before the demand? If so, we may start to see a snowball effect as the reduced sales start to negatively impact both the storage and related industries.