In a big development for the storage industry, solid state “flash” drive prices are falling so much that later this year they’ll be nearly as cheap as enterprise-grade disk drives, after years of flash drives being the pricier option. That promises to cut costs for data centers. But it will create more competition among companies that supply them with storage.
The price parity will set off a showdown between younger companies specializing in flash storage for enterprises, like Pure Storage and Nimble Storage, and traditional storage makers such as Dell, EMC or Hitachi Data Systems. Adding to the stakes: Traditional companies have the buying power to drive down flash disk prices even further, pressuring the newcomers’ margins.