Life after the hard drive: what is the future of storage?

Mechanical hard drives still make up the majority of storage for personal computers, laptops, and even cloud storage solutions. So long as the data retrieved does not need high I/O and read/write access, cloud systems still use mechanical drives.

The death of the Desktop PC

IBM and EMC are developing storage solutions that offer incredibly fast performance. These solutions will suit organizations running data-reading intensive instructions. In the SAS space, SSD SAS are becoming more prevalent in enterprises. The inflection point for SSD, or solid state drives, happened this past February, when NAND flash memory surpassed HDD in areal density for the first time.


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The milestone achievement for SSD technology will accelerate price drops for this type of storage. Already, consumer SSDs are over 50 per cent cheaper than it was last year. They now make sense to use as primary “boot” drives, storing and providing quick access to the operating system files.


EMC's XtremeIO
EMC’s XtremeIO

Remember Hitachi? Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, or HGST, is known for building storage for product quality and reliability. Western Digital Corporation owns HGST. Western Digital boosted the storage size for HGST solutions last year. In June last year, it delivered a 10 TB enterprise HDD for Active Archive Applications. Earlier that year, it introduced NVMe-compliant SSDs. Another highlight by HGST is persistent memory fabric. Also known as in-memory computing, this data center feature allows organizations to run real-time insights and analytics. The performance of such solutions is dependent on I/O per second in the millions. HGST demonstrated three million I/O per second in its phase change memory (“PCM”) demo.

In the cloud storage arena, Western Digital’s HGST offered scalable storage solutions that are compatible for private and hybrid clouds. Last month, the company furthered the flexibility of scaling object storage. Its HGST SA-1000 may scale from 672 terabytes to a massive 28 petabytes.

The reliable mechanical hard drive is getting replaced by cloud storage and solid state drives. SSDs are cheap enough, faster, and offer better performance. Initiatives by IBM and EMC, and Western Digital’s HGST are examples of where storage technology is headed.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Chris Lau
Chris Lau
In search for alpha. Telecom, media, technology. Social media. Financial Markets. Real-Estate Agent. Seeking Alpha Contributor. Toronto, Ontario ·

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