UK users explore solid-state drive technology as prices drop

Learn about DRAM vs. NAND flash memory, the cost of SSD vs. spinning disk, where SSDs can be used and vendor product plans.

As more vendors begin to offer solid-state drives (SSDs) as an option in their subsystems, and pricing for SSDs starts to drop, UK users are taking a closer look at the technology and how it might fit into their data centres. This Special Report explains the differences between DRAM and NAND flash memory, outlines the cost of SSD vs. spinning disk, helps you decide where solid-state drives can be used, and updates you on vendor SSD product plans.

Research firm Gartner estimates the EMEA region was responsible for 22% of the total $585 million in global solid-state drive sales last year. And IDC predicts global sales growth for enterprise solid-state drive storage will increase between 2008 and 2013 at an annual growth rate of 15% for Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) SSD, and at an annual growth rate of 207% for I/O-intensive NAND flash memory.

Joe Unsworth, a research director with Gartner's Technology and Service Provider Group, sees SSD as a growing market because of its significant advantages over spinning disk in terms of I/O performance.

"Enterprise SSD is gaining considerable adoption behind its significant advantages in terms of accessing data compared to even the fastest HDD [hard disk drive]," Unsworth explained. "STEC is leading this space as a SSD supplier, but there certainly is a UK presence as the larger OEM storage/server vendors -- EMC, NetApp, Sun, Dell, HP, IBM and Compellent -- all have European storage sales initiatives. The enterprise SSD space is gaining traction now and will continue to witness strong growth."


Expert Podcast: Looking for more information on solid-state drives? In Part 1 of this podcast, UK bureau chief Antony Adshead speaks with Matt Jeavons, IT and business architect at B2net, about the basics of solid-state drives. Learn more about the benefits of storing data on solid-state flash memory, and what specific needs SSD technology can address.


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