Feeds

Seagate: Storage industry ill-prepared for onrushing big data tsunami

At current rates, capacity will be half what's needed by 2020

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Flash Memory Summit The world is producing such a rapidly surging amount of data that the storage industry – both solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard-disk drives (HDDs) – will be hard-pressed to keep up with demand, says one storage-industry insider.

"You can take that as a crisis; we see it as an opportunity," HDD manufacturer Seagate's SVP in charge of SSDs, Gary Gentry, told his keynote audience at the Flash Memory Summit on Tuesday in Santa Clara, California.

The global capacity needed to store data in 2020, Gentry said, will total around six zettabytes. For those of you who haven't been keeping score on the growth in capacity definitions, in decimal terms a zettabyte is a thousand exabytes, which is a thousand petabytes, which is a thousand terabytes.

That's not just a lot of personal cat videos, it's also Hollywood* and Bollywood feature films, medical and sensor data, massive amounts of business-focused big data, rapidly proliferating security cameras, automotive and aviation intelligence, and of course all that data that the NSA is slurping on a daily basis.

All types of digital storage taken together will have difficulty keeping up with that demand, Gentry said. "That's not just about flash and it's not just about hard drives – you could even throw tape drives into that. Any kind of product you can imagine is going to be needed to stay up with that demand."

And if the industry remains on its current investment path, they're not going to make it. "Based on the investment in the industry that we've looked into with experts in the flash industry and the hard-drive industry," Gentry said, "by 2020 we think the alignment, even with aggressive investment in fab capacity and hard-drive output will be somewhere approaching three zettabytes."

From Gentry's point of view, the pace of investment will almost certainly increase, but it'll need to be an industry-wide effort. "It's going to take all companies and all industries investing heavily to stay up with that big data that's in front of us," he said.

Of course, Seagate manufactures HDDs, and sources its SSD chips from Samsung and Toshiba, which Gentry said together account for about 75 per cent of the NAND-wafer output for the entire flash-memory industry. It's to his company's benefit that there will continue to be rising demand for HDDs.

"The future's not really about flash versus HDD. We hear that every day and I'm sure you do too," Genrty told his audience of flash-industry conference attendees. "The future's really about flash and HDD."

* Bootnote

Speaking of Hollywood feature films, Gentry said that his sources tell him that during the production of The Hobbit, the crew created between six and 12 terabytes of data every day during filming.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.