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Coughlin: SSDs will not kill disk drives

Coughlin Associates’ recent forecast on disk, SSD, and tape shipments extending to 2028 suggests that the rise in SSD sales will have minimal impact on disk drive shipments, contrary to some predictions of a complete phase-out of disk drives

Pure Storage is vigorously asserting that no new disk drives will be sold after 2028. CEO Charlie Giancarlo said in June: “The days of hard disks are coming to an end – we predict that there will be no new hard disks sold in 5 years.”

This is based on Pure’s belief that flash drives, especially the high-capacity QLC (4bits/cell) drives, are reducing the total cost of ownership for all-flash arrays to a point lower than that of disk arrays.

The industry seems to be divided on this issue. While Thomas Coughlin believes in the continued growth of disk drives, Charlie Giancarlo predicts a dominant future for flash storage. 

Results by 2028 will determine which viewpoint is correct.

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