Some big news came out this week from Amazon.com, Santa Clara Consulting Group, Intel, and OCZ. Overall solid state drives and the transition from physical media to the cloud for some applications are hot themes this year.
Amazon.com Launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player
Amazon.com launched what could be a bombshell in the online storage industry this week. Amazon.com’s Cloud Drive service provides a user with 5GB of online storage for free. I saw this and immediately signed up only to find that Amazon MP3 purchases do not count towards that 5GB limit, de-duplication at its finest!
One can upgrade their storage for $1/GB per year making 20GB $20/ year and 200GB $200/ year. Clearly this is more expensive than purchasing two 2TB hard drives these days (at 200GB of cloud storage), but it is a stake in the ground against Netflix and Google.
Along with Cloud Drive, Amazon.com launched Cloud Player which allows users to play music on their Cloud Drive back on PC’s and on the Android platform.
In the past few weeks, Amazon has also launched a video streaming service and an Android marketplace. It seems like their strategy of bringing the cloud to consumers is in full-swing at the moment.
DVD Recordable Market Down from over $6B to just over $5B in 2010
With the introduction of Blu-Ray, Netflix, Amazon.com’s streaming service and other players, it makes sense that the global market for DVD media, including recorder sales lost over $1B or around 18% in 2010 according to the Santa Clara Consulting Group. This makes sense since physical media delivery is becoming less cost-effective than online delivery. For archiving purposes, at least for “short” 3-5 year term purposes, hard drives have supplanted much of the optical and tape markets as SATA drive prices near $0.035/GB.
Intel Ships the SSD 320 Series
Intel started shipping the SSD 320 series this week in capacities of 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB and 600GB which is significant expansion from the previous generation X25-M. The significance of the 320 series is that it uses the famed Intel controller with 25nm flash but delivers much improved sequential write performance as well as 4K IOPS speed. Without The Intel 510 series SSDs based on the Marvell controller are still expected to fill the role of SATA III 6.0gbps enthusiast parts.
OCZ Completes the Acquisition of Indilinx
For those wondering why OCZ’s purchase of Indilinx closed within weeks and Western Digital’s acquisition of Hitachi GST will take six months, a big reason does come down to size and structure. When a small drive manufacturer (OCZ is not large by volumes of total drives shipped contrary to some reader’s beliefs) purchases a small, private company (Indilinx) deals move along much faster as the closing formalities occur much faster and anti-trust review is generally non-existent.