When the solid-state drive (SSD) first came to market, many were speculating about whether it would completely replace the hard disk drive (HDD) in the future. Others predicted that it could work alongside HDDs to boost the speed of an overall system. Considering their price per gigabyte, it's unsurprising that the latter happened more quickly than the former. Enter the era of the hybrid storage array.
Who knows? Maybe in the future we'll be able to do away with HDDs for good and bask in the lightning speeds that SSDs present. However, by the time that happens, it's likely that we will have come across something even better.
The reason why people are relying on both storage mediums in tandem is because of a simple dichotomy: An HDD array is cheap, but too slow, while an SSD array is much faster, but too expensive. Combine the two, and bam! You've got yourself a hot rod with a sweet price tag (News - Alert) attached to it. You still get the high storage capacity on the cheap while being able to run applications much faster when necessary.
This kind of setup isn't just popular in the computer hobbyist market. Businesses are starting to make this realization and the demand for these arrays is higher than ever this year.
Rob Commins, vice president of marketing at Tegile, an enterprise data storage company, said, “The storage industry is at a bit of an inflection point in regards to the best approach organizations can take to satisfy the increasing needs of performance-hungry applications while staying true to the company's bottom line. Hybrid storage that marries the best of SSD and HDD is poised to make tremendous gains this year. However, buyers still need to do the research as all hybrids are not created equal. Truly effective hybrid array solutions need to be engineered to address all the demands of the modern data center rather than simply be a combination of two disparate technologies sold as a single offering.”