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Keeping the Memories Alive: Storage Association Launches

Tiny-but-versatile flash memory drives might get all the press these days, but the new Storage Products Association is working to make sure that consumers don't forget about the hard drive.

From floppy disks to the cloud, we’ve come a long way with computer storage in the last few decades.

And as the industry evolves even further, a new association is hoping to keep one piece of the storage puzzle in the public eye. More details about the fledgling Storage Products Association (SPA) below:

Focus on consumers: The California-based SPA was created by major industry players Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. Its focus is squarely on consumers—with the goal of promoting hard drives in an era when flash-based storage devices have gained a major foothold in the market, particularly with mobile device users. SPA’s scope includes the solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), which combines traditional hard drives with flash memory, offering consumers the best of both worlds in terms of speed and capacity. However, the group’s FAQ says it is open to expanding to solid-state devices in the future.

Flash forward: Despite the focus on hard drives, the association’s launch came during the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California, earlier this month. Rather than seeing the summit as enemy territory, the association used the opportunity to advance the idea that the storage technologies work better in tandem. “There’s an important role for NAND flash, but there’s also a really important role for [hard disk drive]-related media,” SPA Chairman David Burks told IDG News Service. The group underlined this claim with a presentation about the growth of SSHD market in coming years.

Roger Kay, an analyst for Endpoint Technologies Associates, told IDG that the move is likely a smart one from a public relations standpoint. “They’ve been sort of outmaneuvered in the public eye by flash,” Kay said. “As the economics for flash improve, it makes the value of that big spinning media lower.”

With the rise of cloud computing and flash memory, do you see an ongoing role for hard drives in your tech toolkit? Let us know your take in the comments below.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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