Storage

Why storage admins shouldn't discount HDDs, even with explosive cloud growth

The Enterprise Storage Survey found that cloud storage adoption is growing, but more data is still stored in HDDs.

Cloud has become the dominant medium for storage, beating out hard disk drives (HDDs) in terms of adoption, according to the Enterprise Storage Survey results released Tuesday. The survey found that 68% respondents claimed cloud usage, while only 58% reported the usage of HDDs.

Despite the rise of the cloud, more data is still stored on-premises. When asked "What storage technology holds most of your company's primary storage data?" more respondents listed HDD than cloud. However, it did only win out by a few percentage points.

When it comes to on-premises storage, the messaging that "flash has taken over" is false. Flash adoption has grown thanks to falling prices, the report noted, but traditional HDDs hold a more significant storage load.

SEE: Quick glossary: Storage (Tech Pro Research)

Despite its age, flash is still relatively nascent in the enterprise. As such, it's likely that flash storage will eventually outpace HDDs in terms of adoption and storage workloads.

So, why do admins buy certain storage products? The biggest draw is the connective tissue between performance (72%) and cost savings (71%). Respondents also listed scalability and security (both 50%) as major considerations.

High costs and aging gear were listed as the two biggest challenges to storage implementation. Company leaders realize that their storage portfolio may need a refresh, the report said, but the high costs of pursuing such a project often prevent them from doing so.

"Despite temporary pain from refreshes, smart investing in new storage technologies and management automation overcomes obsolete storage infrastructure, insufficient capacity, high OPEX, and data security issues," the report said.

On the people side of things, the respondents overall said they likely weren't increasing or decreasing their IT staff over the next two years. This could create future issues in handling the growing data storage demands in the enterprise. To better manage storage with a smaller staff, the report recommended "simplified upgrades, dynamic scalability, automatic monitoring and alerts, and policy-driven storage management."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Cloud storage adoption is greater than on-premises, but HDDs are more heavily used in primary storage. — Enterprise Storage Survey, 2018
  • Flash is growing steadily, but it is not blowing past traditional HDDs, despite some industry messaging. — Enterprise Storage Survey, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Jarin13

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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