World bought 143 exabytes of storage in Q3, mostly spinning rust

We've back-of-the-enveloped Trendfocus' data to come up with 500+ exabytes a year

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The world bought 143 exabytes of storage in 2015's third quarter, according to analyst outfit Trendfocus, and looks to be on track for a 500 exabyte year.

The firm doesn't usually name a “bytes shipped” number in the briefs it releases at no charge, but made an exception for the its Q3 data. That release reports 143 exabytes of spinning rust and solid state shipments, spread among 145 million drives. Solid state disks accounted for 26.22m of the total drives shipped.

Trendfocus counts both consumer-grade and enterprise disks in its analyses. In the consumer category, things improved compared to Q2 thanks to strong demand for PCs. Western Digital emerged on top with unit share of 43.6 per cent, ahead of Seagate's 39.8 per cent and Toshiba's 16.5%. In the enterprise, the firm noted a 4.7 per cent quarter-over-quarter bounce, to 3.1m units. PCIe SSDs accounted for just 117,000 of those sales and SAS units clocked up 450,000 sales, leaving SATA as the top-seller.

Back to that 500-exabyte forecast. Q3 sales are up 7.4 per cent, to 118.59m hard disks. Q1 saw 125m hard disks shipped. Once we back-of-the-envelope things a bit, factor in Q4's sales bump due to spending bumps due to China's Singles Day, North America's Thanksgiving and Christmas in many places, it looks to us to be reasonable to suggest an annual result of somewhere near four times Q3's 143 exabytes. Which would mean over 500 exabytes in a year.

Now for the bigger question: how much of it is properly backed up? ®

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