Disk Drives Gone in a Flash?

Arthur Cole

What are the chances that the disk drive will soon be shut out completely by solid-state flash memory, even in the datacenter? Very good, according to the folks at Micron.


The company is at Interop to showcase its RL (reduced latency) DRAM system optimized for digital video. Dean Klein, Micron's market development veep, makes no secret about his belief that NAND flash drives will soon outclass disk drives by virtue of their lower heat and power ratings, faster access times and lower failure rate.


Putting flash memory into the data center is more than a matter of swapping out old disk drives for solid state, however. Controllers and interconnects would have to redesigned. Plus there is the small matter of cost, with flash memory still coming at a premium.


But there is also the fact that NAS vendors are always looking to boost capacity with smaller, cooler boxes. And there's no reason why flash won't be able to fulfill that role over time.

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