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SSDs / solid state storage - list of recommended market research & analysts

who d'you call for the SSD crystal ball?

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor
How times change! - When I started writing about SSDs and analyzing the market for readers and advertisers there were no other market research companies which did regular research or reports on SSDs. (ZERO).

They weren't needed because SSD companies in the 1990s learned about the market by being in it. And the market size was too small for anyone outside to care enough to pay for an expert SSD market opinion.

Today in the wake of the enterprise SSD goldrush - the SSD crystal bowling alley is becoming big business with lots of companies spinning high priced SSD data nuggets of variable colors and value. My filtered list below includes only analysts who to my knowledge been immersed in this subject for many years.
SSD analyst companies Editor's pick from SSD news about SSD Market Reports

(publisher of )
Here are some articles to get you acquainted.
Coughlin Associates HDDs and Flash Memory: A Marriage of Convenience

Editor:- most of Tom Coughlin's reports have been about the HDD and storage in entertainment markets.

However a 2011 report - HDDs and Flash Memory: A Marriage of Convenience (pdf) ($5,000) - which looked at market applications for hybrids - was a collaboration with Jim Handy (Objective Analysis).
Forward Insights new to SSD? - new report from Forward Insights

Editor:- January 31, 2012 - Forward Insights has recently published a new report - SSD Technology and Applications: A Primer (88 pages $1,499).

Author Gregory Wong says - "It's an ideal guide for novices interested in acquiring a basic understanding of SSD technology and applications as well as a handy reference for more experienced professionals."

Editor's comments:- Among other things (see contents pdf for more details) Greg says the report also provides an overview of the competitive landscape for SSDs.
Gartner SSD Market Projections - from Denali & Gartner

Editor:- February 9, 2010 - Denali Software published an article - the Evolving Enterprise SSD - which comments on detailed SSD market size predictions from Gartner related to SSD form factors and interfaces.

If you look at the curves related to form factors - you can infer that's readers are about 3 to 4 years ahead of the market in their search volume.

Another way of looking at it is that our readers have always been ahead of the SSD market adoption curve - and have been historically and statistically significant in shaping the SSD market penetration curves by their actions in either designing SSDs or buying them.
Gerson Lehrman Group Flash Memory Experts - Another Directory

Editor's comments:- April 16, 2009 - GLG has a Flash Memory Experts - Study Group

This directory lists over 100 people in various companies - including many experts on the flash market.
IDC IDC SSD Market Forecasts

Editor:- the summary description for IDC's 2010 to 2014 SSD market forecast (updated Dec 2010) suggests it only tracks 14 out of the more than 200 SSD companies in the market - and excludes many significant companies listed in's own top 20 SSD companies list.

That's a problem with this type of historic shipments tracking list - and is something I commented on many years ago in the context of similar market size numbers for the NAS market.

What these types of reports can do is understate the market size of fast growing markets - because sampling errors may exclude companies in the segment being tracked which are more significant than those for whom numbers are being collected.
In-Stat In-Stat Says SSDs will be in 50% of Mobile Computers by 2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - July 17, 2006 - hard disk drives face competition in the mobile computer mass storage market as flash-based solid state drives stand ready in the wings according to a new report (price $2,995 ) published by In-Stat.

In fact, SSDs have the potential to dethrone HDD as the top laptop storage choice within 10 years, the high-tech market research firm says. The research leads In-Stat to believe that the SSD market share in mobile computers could reach 50% by 2013.
IP-nest Nand Flash Controller IP Market Forecast

In January 2010 - IP-nest published a report called - Nand Flash Controller (NFC) IP Market Forecast 2009-2014 ($1,590).

It answers questions like:-
  • What is the license price evolution for NFC for SLC? For MLC?
  • What is the penetration rate for 2010-2014 of externally sourced NFC IP?
  • Key applications for NFC Bridge to PCI Express, SATA or USB 3.0
  • How many ASIC/ASSP world wide designs start, and related IP sales on 2010-2014?
iSuppli iSuppli says SSD revenue in 2011 will reach $4.4 billion

Editor:- March 17, 2011 -iSuppli today announced it expects SSD revenue in 2011 to hit $4.4 billion - up 91% from $2.3 billion in 2010.

By 2014, iSuppli expects SSD revenue to reach $7 billion.
IT Brand Pulse what are enterprise SSD users thinking? - especially if it's wrong

Editor:- August 22, 2013 - In a confusing market like enterprise SSDs where the accepted wisdom of what makes good technology keeps changing - and the interpretation of market trends depends on who's looking at the same data - what can vendors do to try and make sure they're aiming in the right direction and doing things which will sell?

Getting closer to their customers is one way - and most leading vendors do that already. But it's not infallible.

How about customers they're not reaching yet? What are they thinking? - Especially if it's wrong or based on perceptions which are out of date. Vendors need to understand how users tick so they can adapt their own product plans and the way they talk about them.

About a year ago I was contacted by Frank Berry, CEO of IT Brand Pulse who told me about the new way they were doing market research into the SSD market:- surveying enterprise users and asking them what they think about brands, technology decisions and other key issues.

That sounded like a good idea - but in recent years I've heard from a great many companies which said they wanted to do more reports in the SSD market - and although I've been happy to mention some of them on this and similar news pages I've reserved my short list of special SSD market research companies for those who - in my opinion - have invested the resources to create valuable SSD insights over a period of many years. I thought it might be years before I added IT Brand Pulse to that list (if ever).

Turns out I was wrong.

And while I was aware that Frank Berry and his team have been doing more work in the enterprise SSD area in the past year - it was only when I got a summary of their recent presentation at the Flash Memory Summit - SSD Adoption Trends (pdf) in my email this morning - that I realized the scale of what they have already achieved.

There's some really useful information here about SSD user decision points and current usage preferences as well as brand data and market perceptions. This free version of the paper includes unscaled graphs - and charts without numbers. But it makes a good read as it is. For those who need the raw data and numbers - the cost is $1,500. the article (pdf)
Objective Analysis enterprise SSD market growth will accelerate - says Objective Analysis

Editor:- April 27, 2010 - Objective Analysis has published a new 104 page market report - Data Centers Drive Major SSD Growth ( $5,000) which concludes that "the stunning growth of SSDs in enterprise servers and storage systems is only going to get stronger."

The company finds that the enterprise SSD market is likely to approach $4 billion in revenues by 2015, nearly 17x times that of 2009, while unit shipments will increase by 50x during that period to over 4 million units.
Ridgetop Research I only recently added Ridgetop Research to the storage market research directory on (in July 2014) when I realized that on the balance of the evidence I could see that this company was more relevant to my readers than some of the other companies which had been listed there already - despite Ridgetop Research not having any standard storage market research products blazoned on their home page.
Semico Research Flash SSDs making inroads into Computing

In May 2010 - Semico Research published a report Flash SSDs Making Inroads into Computing - which is just one of a whole series of reports they have published about the SSD and nv memory markets since 2005.
TrendFocus TRENDFOCUS Various Reports on SSDs

The SSD market continues to rapidly evolve and since the July 2008 publication of our FOCUS ON: SSDs, the landscape for both enterprise and client SSDs has transformed in many expected and unexpected ways.

The small but highly publicized enterprise SSD market continues to be dominated by nearly a single supplier – STEC; however, almost all HDD manufacturers who produce or are intending to manufacture enterprise HDDs have developed strategies to enter the high-end of the SSD market over the next year or so.

Based on today's shipment activity, the SSD market can still only be best characterized as nascent. However, the rapid development of controller technologies, NAND density improvement (driving cost reduction) and a diverse base of suppliers is pointing toward the build-up of an industry foundation that will drive rapid growth of both the enterprise and client SSD markets. SSDs will play an important, but coexistent role along with HDDs to address broadening data storage needs for years to come.

"FOCUS ON Update: SSDs Begin to Mature" ($499)) provides insight into the current competitive landscape of SSDs as well as shipment and HDD market erosion forecasts
Web-Feet Research the latest SSD market report from Web-Feet Research

Editor:- July 19, 2011 - Web-Feet Research has published a new quarterly edition of its SSD market report series (annual subscription $7,500). You can see the introduction and summary here (pdf) - where among other things you'll learn...

"Adoption of SSDs in client and enterprise applications gained momentum in 2010 with shipments and revenue doubling to 10.3 million units and $2.6 billion. The outlook for 2011 is 16.6 million units and $4.1 billion in revenue demonstrating continued strong growth."
Westwood Marketing Flash Metrics Reports

Westwood Marketing's monthly Flash Metrics Executive Report includes industry analysis and forecasting.

It also provides subscribers with extensive analysis of flash memory cards, USB Flash Drives, portable media players, and SSDs from leading retailers, e-commerce sellers, and OEM's.

The Flash Metrics Executive Report also includes news briefs, new product overviews and weekly promotional advertising data that help subscribers to stay at the forefront of the industry.

With its focus on finished products, Flash Metrics provides subscribers throughout the Flash Memory food chain with timely, accurate data, and sophisticated analytical tools. Component Metrics focus is on contract and spot market memory pricing data and its analysis. Combined, the reports help subscribers enhance their competitive position, increase profit margins, and reduce financial risk.

Our top-down/bottom-up tool allows subscribers to quickly and accurately determine finished good pricing and competitive positioning. Data for both reports is collected from reliable sources in North America, Europe and Asia on a weekly basis
click here to see some more storage market  predictions
Spellerbyte's crystal ball was
tuned to the SSD groove.
We're now nearing a pivotal point in the enterprise SSD market where the long held assumptions I helped to encourage (especially how many leading systems vendors there will be in the market at the same time) are about to be changed dramatically.
90% of enterprise SSD companies have no good reasons to survive
"What is/should be comforting for your newer readership is your capability to make seemingly outrageous claims years ahead of them possibly becoming reality...

...these and other predictions that were followed by pipedreams eventually converting to tangible reality, continually drive the ubiquity of Flash-enabled systems across Data Centers."
Marius Tudor, Sr. Director, WW Solutions Sales - SanDisk in an email thanking the editor of for 12 years of thought leadership re enterprise flash.
We haven't reached stability yet in reference enterprise designs and use cases.
what kind of SSD world can we expect in 2015?

For many of these enterprise AFA vendors a single customer RFQ like that is bigger than their whole business plan.
some random SSD thoughts about EMC

Some vendors have already seen that revenue crash happen. However it will affect all enterprise SSD vendors at some time or other.
the enterprise SSD software event horizon

"where's the best place to spend my time seeking for data to initiate new SSD supplier, partner, business development, acquisition or investment decisions?"
Editor:- That's the hardest question we all face. We've all got insane time pressure. And it's impossible to read and analyze everything that's being written and said about the SSD market.

That's why we need a rational and empirically based system (based on numbers and not merely analyst or editor opinions) to help set priorities.

The Top SSD Companies List has been helping solve that problem for 7 years.

SSD ad - click for more info

"When the conversation gets serious about SSDs someone mentions StorageSearch"
SSD vendors have often told me this is what often happens inside their business strategy and marketing conversations. Tens of thousands of independent SSD blogs and articles link to this site too.
SSD articles on for business planners
Hostage to the fortunes of SSD - why are so many companies piling into the SSD market - when even the leading enterprise companies haven't demonstrated sustainable business models yet?

Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide - some simple rules to help you stay on the safer side of the tracks in this maddenly unruly market.

Where are we now with SSD software? - (And how did we get into this mess?)

enterprise SSDs - exploring the limits of the market in your head - is about enterprise SSD futurology.

adaptive flash care management IP (including DSP) for SSDs - what is it? and who does it? This will be a disruptive transition.

The big market impact of SSD dark matter - you can't see them and they aren't in the market size reports which you just purchased recently. But you can't plan SSD investments or strategies without taking them into account.

Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street? - I'm like the Old Woman of the SSD Village who talks to everyone that passes through. No wonder I have a unique perspective. It would be strange if I didn't.
looking a long way ahead?

an introduction to enterprise SSD silos - 7 ways to classify where all SSDs will fit in the pure SSD datacenter
what's happening now?

SSD news

the Top SSD Companies
historic perspective on SSDs

SSD market perspective
What are SSD readers interested in?

the top 100 SSD articles - updated monthly
looking a little way back?

SSD Market Milestones in 2013
looking a long way back?

SSD Market History
"What do SSD buyers want?" 2004 - conducted the world's 1st independent SSD buyers preferences survey.

We asked users about their technology needs, SSD budgets, satisfaction with the SSD experience, inhibitors and disinhibitors (what would make it easier for them to buy more SSDs) and which SSD brands could they name? We never stopped asking.
SSD directories sorted by form factor

1.0" SSDs / 1.8" SSDs /2.5" SSDs

3.5" SSDs / PCIe SSDs / rackmount SSDs
recent SSD articles
HA SSDs - is a new article and directory about fault tolerant enterprise SSD systems.

Who's who in SSD? - every few days on our home page you'll see a different SSD company profiled. In one way that's not new - because I've been doing something similar for the past 15 years. The new bit is you get a market context and my idiosyncratic views about each company - written fresh each time.

2011 SSD market milestones - if you're getting up to speed with the SSD market - lists the most significant products, suppliers and changes which happened last year.

what's unique about FIO's ioDrives? - Which of these options do you prefer? - Speeding up the storage? - or - Speeding up the app? - Find out why the raw numbers - without the narrative - fail to tell the full story.

the New Business Case for SSD ASAPs - SSD ASAPs are 1 of the 6 main SSD product types that will be around in the pure solid state storage datacenter of the future in the 2016 to 2020 timeframe.

if Fusion-io sells more does that mean Violin will sell less? - my analysis of the complex market interchange between the PCIe SSD and FC SAN SSD and IP SSD markets.

will the enterprise SSD market be big enough for all these companies [list] to grow? - I'm often asked that question - although everyone who asks it populates the [list] with their own set of SSD companies.

StorageSearch talks SSD with Holly Frost, CEO, Texas Memory Systems - Holly Frost has been designing big memory storage systems longer than anyone else on the planet.

Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street? - I'm like the Old Woman of the SSD Village who talks to everyone that passes through. No wonder I have a unique perspective. It would be strange if I didn't.

Will the enterprise SSD market be big enough for all these companies [list] to grow? - a reader asked me how credible is it for so many SSD companies to say they are going to be the big SSD T-Rex.

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