Will hard drives hang on for 20 more years?!

Twenty years ia a long time, especially in the computing world. While I think it’s quite likely that hard drives will still be around, I’m not convinced that no matter how hard companies like Seagate push the envelop that it will be a mainstream consumer technology that far in the future. If I had to guess it will be primarily cold storage (like tape now), flash is only getting faster and cheaper. Once we start seeing multi-TB SSDs at reasonable prices, it will be really difficult to find a use for magnetic storage in the home. All that said, Anandtech has a really interesting writeup of what’s coming down the road, well worth the read – even if you agree with me. If not, go ahead and tell me why I’m wrong in the comments :).

The very first hard disk drives (HDDs) were demonstrated by IBM back in 1956 and by the early 1980s they became the dominant storage technology for all types of computers. Some say, hard drives are no longer relevant as solid-state drives offer higher performance. According to Seagate Technology, HDDs will remain in the market for at least 15 to 20 years. In a bid to remain the primary bulk storage device for both clients and servers, hard drives will adopt a multitude of technologies in the coming decade.

“I believe HDDs will be along around for at least 15 years to 20 years,” said David Morton, chief financial officer of Seagate, at the Nasdaq 33rd Investor Program Conference.



  • They’re going to no to have

    They’re going to no to have to get faster. Takes way too long to fill a 6TB disk. But yeah, I can see this. Saw someone with a VHS player just last week. 

    • Fair point .
      Although on

      Fair point :).

      Although on second thought, I’m not sure they are comparable. If you have a large VHS collection, you need a VHS player (it’s about the format not the medium, which a HDD is).

  • I fully expect storage to

    I fully expect storage to evolve into something different that how we know it today.  Rotational hard drives will eventually be supplanted by some other type of media.  Solid State drives certainly seem to be the successor with the current technology, but I expect that to evolve beyond the way we currently see it.  Computer technology is an evolving science that embraces constant change, usually whether the consumer is ready for it or not.  I can’t honestly say whether or not hard drive technology will be around for another 15-20 years, but I don’t discount it either.  I suspect there will be a point where the amount of storage that you can place on a spinning magnetic platter will be maximized and wil eventually hit a dead end.  There is no such limit on silicon-based storage since it mostly amounts to creating larger dies with more semiconductor storage capacity.