Happy days: IDC sings good storage forecast news song

It’s a good market to be in. IDC has increased its disk drive and SSD revenue and capacity forecasts for the 2020–2025 period, citing increased demand pretty much across the board.

The pandemic’s easing is freeing pent-up demand but, basically, the world is creating more data and wants to store it (disk drives) and access it faster (SSDs).

Jeff Janukowicz, Research VP for Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies at IDC, said “Worldwide SSD units and capacity shipped are higher than the prior forecast thanks to increasing demand from client devices, enterprise storage customers, and cloud service providers.”

His IDC colleague Edward Burns, Research Director, Hard Disk Drive and Storage Technologies, said “While the client HDD market continues a long-term secular decline due to rising SSD attach rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has over the near term increased the demand for certain types of HDDs, particularly mobile HDDs as well as capacity-optimised HDDs. And the demand for storage capacity continues to grow at a steady pace as the world creates and stores more and more data.”

Worldwide SSD unit shipments will increase at a 2020–2025 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8 per cent and revenue will grow at a CAGR of 9.2 per cent over the same period, reaching $51.5 billion in revenue by 2025. SSD capacity shipments are expected to grow at a 2020–2025 CAGR of 33.0 per cent as IDC expects ongoing price erosion in the long-term SSD pricing outlook.

Worldwide HDD industry petabyte shipments are expected to see a CAGR of 18.5 per cent over the 2020–2025 forecast period, and average capacity per drive is forecast to increase at a five-year CAGR of 25.5 per cent.

SSD details

The Worldwide Solid State Storage Forecast, 2021–2025 IDC report says that, over the forecast period:

  • SSD pricing remains volatile and elevated in the near term. Technology advancements in NAND flash (more layers) will lower costs helping to send demand higher.
  • Client SSD demand is significantly higher than previously forecast as work- and school-from-home trends have strengthened portable PC demand. 
  • Near-term demand for enterprise SSDs remains strong in both cloud and on-premises market. 
  • Lower prices will drive demand elasticity, and system optimisation around flash, coupled with digital infrastructure modernisation, and expanding cloud-centric architectures, will continue to provide ongoing secular demand for SSDs.

HDD details

According to The IDC report, Worldwide Hard Disk Drive Forecast, 2021–2025:

  • Petabyte demand from OEM storage customers will be higher for 2021 due to an on-premises data centre budget increase and business reopening trends.
  • Demand from cloud service providers and hyperscale customers will be strong, with petabytes growing at a CAGR of 31 per cent through 2025. 

It’s pretty much all good news for disk drive and SSD suppliers — customers want more of their products between now and 2025. What’s not to like?