Cloud storage has delivered on its promise, says WD

Among the predicted storage trends of 2013, one key trend that has delivered on its promise is storage in the cloud, says Patrick Lo, Regional Senior Manager, CE & Enterprise Storage Division, APAC.

“As costs decline and more mobile and other consumer applications access content available through the Internet, we are seeing the trend of more data center based cloud storage, as well as user clouds, such as NAS systems,” Lo told Networks Asia in an emailed interview. “With this perspective, we’ve ensured that we have the necessary storage building blocks for every cloud datacenter today.”

Lo notes that with today’s unprecedented data growth, there is an opportunity within the cloud for unique storage solutions.

Lo also talked about SSD and HDD, which in his perspective are not competing technologies but rather synergistic.

The following is an excerpt of the interview:

  1. What were the predicted storage trends of 2013? Of these predictions for the year, which have come true, and which crashed and burned?

Storage capacity requirements are growing due to the proliferation of smart devices. For example, approximately 300 million photos are uploaded daily on Facebook and 85,000 hours of video uploaded daily on YouTube. Some studies even suggest that the amount of data created, replicated, and consumed in a single year is growing at an annual rate of 46% (Digital Universe). As a result of this massive storage surge, we are observing significant storage trends taking place that could potentially impact common practices and architectures for digital storage for many years to come.

The numerous storage trends at the start of this year included solid-state technologies, enterprise apps heading to the cloud, the convergence of virtualized servers, clustered storage, and software-defined networks. While it may be too early to identify which has delivered and which hasn’t, one key trend that has delivered on its promise is storage in the cloud. As costs decline and more mobile and other consumer applications access content available through the Internet, we are seeing the trend of more data center based cloud storage, as well as user clouds, such as NAS systems. 

With this perspective, we’ve ensured that we have the necessary storage building blocks for every cloud datacenter today. For example, our WD Se drive is optimized to meet the needs of SMB to high-end NAS systems; WD Re for durable capacity storage for high-availability deployments; and WD Xe for high-density performance storage for demanding applications. 

WD believes that 2012 set the stage for many storage trends that will become clearer over the course of 2013. While it may be difficult to say which trends have come true and which have not, we understand that digital storage is where the most valuable asset of businesses and we remain committed to constant innovation to ensure we help provide easy access to that content, as well as protecting it for our customers. 

  1. Are we still looking at a Flash/SSD vs HDD battle? What can we expect from this?

My perspective on SSD vs HDD is that both technologies are not competitors but are synergistic. They each have its own pros and cons and will continue to complement each other to enable new devices and applications in both the consumer and enterprise space. In one of our latest studies, it suggests that 75% of data in 2020 will still be stored in hard disk drives, further reinforcing the position that these two technologies will create new opportunities over the next decade.   

  1. Will 2013 finally see the death of tape?

As with the different features and roles SSD and HDD possess, tape serves a unique purpose that may prolong its relevance to the storage industry. Tape sometimes is being used as a duplicate backup after the primary backups are done, essentially a third or fourth line of defense.