editor - published October 2011|
|can you guess the mood music of
SSD in 2012? |
all the complicated things going on in the SSD market - you might think it's
nuts to try and summarize the mood of a whole year in a single sentence or a
headline (especially in advance).
Well - take a peek at the
top of your
screen... Have you spotted the
You're not scared of mice. You've probably seen them before - and wondered the
very same thing. (The nuts bit.) But if you look in my
article (which starts from the year 1976 - 200 years after
a rather more auspicious year
in world history) - you'll observe that summarizing the mood of each year
in a short headline is exactly what I've done for each and every year since
All those early yearly SSD headlines were in fact written
after each year was safely done and dusted - but part way through 2007 I
started taking the risk of doing the headline before the year had ended. And
more recently I've been naming the flavor of each SSD year - in advance. And so
far - inside Intel
readers please pay particular attention at this point - I haven't had to do
any scryware updates or recalls.
I find it a lot easier doing more
detailed long-range SSD predictions than these near-term one-liners. That's
because technology and market trends arise from many small cumulative nudges
- which add up to big momentums. It's easy to see them - if your job is to look.
the future of SSD - game secrets
If I've been right in the
past - now and again - it's because this game of guessing the future and then
seeing it happen has many players - which includes leading SSD companies
Here's how it goes. I test out my crazy ideas on SSD business
makers. I refine them - write about them in these pages - and then the
customers who vote for the winning ideas with their actions - get an
advanced preview of what might happen. Readers ask some questions. If they're
good questions - I try and find out who knows the answers - or make some up.
Those go back into the SSD dialog mix. The worst ideas get dropped and the
best ones get adopted by a process of Darwinian ideas evolution.
are there sometimes surprises? You bet! But luckily for me many of the people
in the SSD surprise business are also readers of StorageSearch too. So they
kindly let me know they exist and tell me (and you) more when they think the
time is right.
And I'm a good guesser too - because my brain has been
dipped in a lot of
For me - the idea of all this StorageSearch stuff is to
try and understand a complicated market, shift it towards some more viable
directions and hope things work out for the best. So - as you can see - the
detailed long range forecasts can't fail to be mostly right - because if you
all decide that's the best way to go ahead - then you all make it happen. It
doesn't take much more than a mouse (and a keyboard) at this end.
next year's headline - is harder
Unlike detailed SSD forecasts -
the "Year of the SSD" - headlines are more of a fun thing.
gets harmed if I choose the wrong headline - and only my ego suffers. But I
probably spend just as much time thinking about these headlines as I do writing
whole articles. That's because - I get to see them again and again each time I
go back and look at my
pages to archive another month of news - or remind myself -
who did what first /
You can get an idea of what comes out the other end of
these deliberations by the headlines I wrote for the last couple of years...
Year of SSD Market
Confusion? - That was a safe choice. Shame I can't use it again. (My rule is
that each headline must be different to those which have gone before.)
1st Fizz in the SSD
Market Bubble - I like that one too - because it has the potential to be
recycled in the future - by bending my uniqueness rule. Maybe I should wait a
year or so and then have a "2nd Fizz..." But that would be cheating.
Reality Checks for the SSD market (aka year of the FIO IPO). There have been
both good and bad reality checks - with financial data from IPOs, quarterly
reports and acquisitions - revealing winners and losers in a way which is hard
to dispute. (Often signalled in advance by the quarterly list of the search
volume based -
top SSD companies .
) When markets get big enough to make the bean counting visible - there's no
hiding place. If you shine - it shows. And if you stink - people move away.
to my problem with 2012.
I know what I want to say - but I've been
struggling to find the best short way to say it.
The mood I want to
capture - is of an enterprise SSD market which is fired up with new confidence.
In 2012 - makers of the hottest server SSDs aren't excited just by
And they aren't just happy because they just got a good
write-up in an analyst's report or a new benchmark review.
aren't just happy because they don't have to waste so much time explaining to
an SSD? - and
how do SSD
IOPS compare with hard drives?
And in the hot shot SSD companies
which are still privately owned - the founders aren't going to the
VCs. The VCs and
investors are going to them. And these SSD companies laugh when they remember
those cautious old market projections which merely showed high double digit
revenue growth (CAGR) year after year.
And what's driving this
confidence is that their customers have done the pilots- they've done the
product tweaks - the biggest customers have finished their cautious rollouts -
and they're coming back asking for more than more.
mood is changing from - can I afford to use SSDs? - to a realization that - I
can't afford not to use SSDs.
The SSD makers are confident - because
they can see better than anyone outside the industry - that 2012 is going to be
a Kick Ass Year for Enterprise SSDs. Or to put it more politely - 2012 will be
the year of the enterprise SSD goldrush.
|Here are some later articles