Re: Are Disk Drive Vendors screwed (by flash)?
Last time around it was tape that was supposed to be screwed by disk archiving. Tape is still around and highly profitable, although less prevalent at the lower end of things than it once was.
Behind the scenes and doing the heavy lifting, I would expect that the tiering will remain as long as solid state devices remain higher priced per Gb than disks. If you're talking about terabytes or more, why swap to using expensive flash when you don't have to?
Remember here that not all data is access time critical. While it may well be important to wring the last picosecond out of the access to that database record, waiting a second or two while the first bit of that 3 hour film to be streamed is accessed is no big deal.
When it comes to the client end of things, the other thing you have to factor in here is price. While at the lower capacities SSDs are becoming commodity items and desktops with small SSD boot disks are de rigeur, as soon as you want a few hundred gigs in your laptop you are in eye-wateringly expensive territory. Seagate have an ace in the hole here with their Momentus XT range, which give SSD like access to the frequently used smaller stuff, while also providing capacity without breaking the bank (Aha, there's that tiered storage again). It's a mystery to me (and probably a source of immense frustration to Seagate) why more laptops don't come with these as OEM fit, as the results in "real world" use are very impressive.