Matthew Mackender, EMEA SSD Business manager at Kingston Technology gives us some market insight into the take up of SSDs and Flash memory.
How do Kingston see the storage market maturing over 2014?
We feel that 2014 will be another very strong year for SSD in both the client and enterprise market segments.
In the past SSD’s were typically used by power users and high end server configurations but with the cost per GB on NAND flash dropping to below £0.50 on consumer grade drives as well as significant drops on enterprise class drives that could now be set to change.
On the client side although users have always been aware of all the benefits of SSD, when it came to the purchasing decision it was sometimes hard for them to justify purchasing an SSD when they compared price vs performance ratio. However this has now changed and the jump in performance compared to the increase in price over a HDD now means the purchase makes sense.
On the enterprise side although we are still a long way from full scale adoption of all flash server configs there has definitely been an increase in the awareness of the benefits of implementing SSD.
On the enterprise side there has definitely been an increase in the awareness of the benefits of implementing SSD [and] there has been a number improvements in controller technology that help to mitigate the known limitations associated with NAND endurance.
Obviously with enterprise customers cost is a determining factor in the purchasing decision and the cost drops on NAND flash will help to increase run rate but more of a concern is making sure that the components in the server are built to last.
Over the last few years there has been a number improvements in controller technology that help to mitigate the known limitations associated with NAND endurance and with these improvements set to continue this will contribute to an increase adoption and confidence in the benefits of SSD in enterprise customers.
How does this compare to the rest of Europe?
SSD sales continue to grow across all of Europe however we do see the more mature early adopting regions such are DACH and Scandinavia leading the way when it comes to units and GB’s shipped.
Are there any trends in the flash/storage market occurring at the moment – what are you noticing, from a customer buying point of view?
There has definitely been a move towards higher capacity drives in recent months with the high runners moving from 60GB and 120GB up to 240GB and 480GB.
On the enterprise side we have seen a number of customers purchasing consumer grade SSD’s knowing that these drives do not necessarily fit the endurance needs of their environment however are happy to replace these drive as and when they max out due to the price point compared to higher endurance eMLC enterprise grade SSD’s.