Tablets, SSD, cloud show little impact on sales of old hardware they're thought to replace

Tablets may bleed PC sales a bit, but not much; nothing can stop storage, not even the Cloud.

Gartner Inc. has again lowered the number of PCs it expects will be sold during 2011 – blaming sales of tablets for the drop rather than the economy.

Gartner was one of a cadre of analysts expecting the same replacement syndrome to show limited IT budget money was moving from traditional data-center storage hardware to solid-state storage devices and out of the data center altogether as payments for cloud-based storage.

Neither is happening fast enough to show much effect in spending on storage hardware, according to Gartner's most recent external disk-storage analysis.

You can't expect any announcement that begins with the line: "Despite gloomy macro conditions worldwide and geopolitical unrest in the Middle East…" to turn suddenly cheerful in the second paragraph.

The disk report makes an attempt, though, projecting an increase of 11.6 percent in sales compared to 2010.

Competing market-researcher iSuppli was less optimistic, but basically agreed with Gartner by reporting shipments of hard disk drives rose 4 percent during the second quarter.

In a previous report, iSuppli predicted SSD sales to both consumers and businesses would increase 92 percent this year, after topping $1 billion last year for the first time.

In June IDC predicted cloud-based services would take in 14 percent of all IT spending by 2015 and account for 46 percent of all new IT spending – including storage.

So far, whether the customers are all end-user companies or whether much of the growth is coming from cloud providers ramping up for new customers, so far, neither cloud nor SSD is having much impact on sales of storage – a continuing source of revenue for hardware vendors and neverending, always-expanding, increasingly expensive need for end user companies.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon