The Future of Mechanical Drives
With the advent of Cloud storage and Solid State storage, many people have come to believe that the more traditional mechanical hard drive is not long for this world. As solid state performance offers dramatic improvements over that of the mechanical drive, and as Cloud storage offers easier access across multiple platforms, why isn't such a notion justified? One word: COST! The cost of both Cloud services and Solid State drives proves that mechanical drives are going to stick around for a good long while. They are easier to manufacture and offer larger cost to gigabyte ratios, and the advancement of HHDs has continued as well. I don't believe we will see an end of the HDD so much as a transition into hybrid technology. We've already seen hybrid drives released on the market, and while they don't offer the exact same performance as true SSDs, they do offer a compromise which is too good to pass up.
The Future of Optical Storage
The future of optical storage is one which seems a little more precarious than that of the mechanical hard drive. Optical media is one which has undergone a larger degree of change over the years, with numerous revivals in the form of CD, DVD, HD, Blu-Ray, and UDO. However, many manufacturers of computer hardware and software are discovering it easier to bundle software directly with hardware or make it readily available online. Operating systems, drivers, programs - one can find access to all of these online, which cuts out the cost of optical disk writing and distribution. This isn't to say that optical storage won't have a place in the future of computer storage. It still maintains superiority in terms of durability and long term viability, establishing it as an archiving and backup alternative to traditional drives. Thus, we will see optical storage continue in its role as a secondary/tertiary storage redundancy, though perhaps in a lesser extent.