Expert Highlight Storage Trends to Watch in 2020

Ghassan Azzi

Emma Okonji

Senior Manager, Sales, Africa Business at Western Digital, Ghassan Azzi, has predicted five new storage trends that will shape the technology device storage ecosystem.

Western Digital is a global producer of different data storage devices.
According to Azzi, increase in areal density in both traditional air and helium-filled hard disk drives (HDDs) mean that the latest drives have capacities up to 16 terabytes with 18 terabytes conventional magnetic recording (CMR) and 20 terabytes shingled magnetic recording (SMR) HDDs currently sampling, and available later this year.

He said: “Over the next five years, SMR adoption is expected to grow significantly, enabling more efficient workloads and innovations such as zoned storage.
“Areal density growth is key to delivering higher capacities with attractive total cost of ownership (TCO) at scale, and SMR innovation will contribute to this.

“Meanwhile, the value that flash presents for workloads such as analytics and AI has increased the use of all-flash storage systems.”
He said key driver in unleashing the power of flash memory in SSD, would be the move from SATA to Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe).
One of the five trends to watch in 2020, according to him, is that the number of localised data centres would increase, alongside the emergence of new architectures.

Azzi, said although cloud adoption is in no way slowing, there are two factors which drive the continued growth of localised data centres.
“The first is data regulatory requirement and the second is cloud repatriation. Larger enterprises are looking to own their data and rent the cloud for better costs and controls, including security features, latency, and data access, increasing the need for localised data storage capability.
“Further to that, new data centre architectures will emerge to manage the growing volume and variety of data,” Azzi said.

The second trend according to him, is Artificial Intelligence (AI) standardisation that would make edge deployments simple.
He explained that analytics were a definitive competitive advantage, and that there were just too much company data that can be collected, processed, and then turned into insights.

With this, he added, the new connected world has more of the workloads moving to the edge, increasing the need to ensure these very small edge devices have the capability to run and analyse increasingly large amounts of data.
The third trend is the tiering of data leveraging devices, media and fabric innovation to expand not contract, which he said, there would be continued strong exabyte growth in read-centric applications in the data centre, driving a diverse set of performance, capacity and cost-efficiency demands on storage tiers, as enterprises deliver increasingly differentiated services on their data infrastructure.

To meet these demands, Azzi said data centre architectures would continue to advance toward a model where data storage solutions would be consistently provisioned and accessed over fabrics, with the underlying storage platforms and devices delivering to a variety of service level agreements (SLAs), aligned with specific application needs.

The fourth trend is around fabrics that will unify storage sharing. Azzi said with the exponential growth in data, along with the increasing diversity of workflows and demands on IT infrastructure, businesses need to increase speed, agility and time-to-value for their customers. Ethernet fabrics are becoming the “Universal Backplane” of the data centre, unifying how storage is shared, composed and managed at scale to meet the demands of increasingly varied applications and workloads.

The fifth trend, according to him, would be that HDDs would continue to thrive in the data centre environment. He explained that while many have predicted the demise of HDDs for years, there’s simply no substitute for capacity-enterprise HDDs, which consistently meet the growing data demands and deliver total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) value at scale for hyperscale data centres.