Flash-based, solid-state storage demand has grown rapidly within the IT infrastructure sector, as more CIOs and CTOs adopt this technology. The outlook for the solid state drive (SSD) industry remains strong as units, revenue, and total capacity shipped are all expected to see robust growth.
According to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), SSD unit shipments will increase at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1 percent. As a result, SSD vendor revenue is expected to reach $33.6 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14.8 percent.
SSD Storage Market Development
The key factors underlying the improved outlook for the SSD market are greater product availability and improved pricing dynamics as the industry transitions to 3D NAND Flash.
However, IDC believes the current NAND flash supply constraints will begin to diminish in 2018 and contribute to further price erosion in the overall SSD market.
In turn, lower SSD pricing beyond 2017 will drive greater SSD adoption in PCs and other client devices. IDC expects client SSD shipments into the PC and consumer electronics markets to see a 2016-2021 CAGR of 15.8 percent.
Meanwhile, enterprise demand for SSDs will remain strong throughout the forecast, as customers turn to flash-optimized systems for traditional storage needs as well as for server-attached solutions.
"SSDs continue on a path to become a more broadly used, ubiquitous storage technology across IT markets," said Jeff Janukowicz, vice president at IDC. "SSDs play an important role in making the digital transformation possible, a dynamic that IDC expects will continue to propel the adoption of SSDs and underpins the secular growth of the SSD market for both the client and enterprise segments."
In the client market, IDC expects higher SSD capacities at key price points to result in higher attach rates over time in new notebook and desktop PCs, as well as in detachable tablets or 2-in-1 tablets.
Outlook for SSD Adoption and Growth
Within the enterprise data center market, lower SSD prices -- on a per-gigabit basis -- will move SSD attach rates higher in servers, network storage arrays (all-flash arrays and hybrid flash arrays), and within hyperscale cloud service provider data centers.
In the commercial market, IDC expects to see increased adoption of SSDs in a variety of secondary markets and applications -- including the Internet of Things (IoT), where the high reliability, extreme flexibility in form factor and capacity, and operating ruggedness in harsh environments will prove to be beneficial.