Sunday, March 26th, 2017

StorageVisions 2016 Trends Overview


January 2016 – At their new venue of the Luxor, Tom Coughlin opened the Annual StorageVisions Conference with an industry overview for the enterprise and professional content creation communities. This marketplace had a number of big changes in 2015 mostly due to M&A in the industry. Major deals that took place were the purchase of EMC by Dell, the purchase of SanDisk by Western Digital, and the purchase of SolidFire by Netapp.

On the technology front, was the announcement of the new 3D XPoint Memory from the joint development of Micron and Intel. The Intel/Micron memory leads the way on new ReRAM, SpinTronics and other NVM technologies just starting to appear as production capable technologies. While the densities and price points are not currently cost competitive with DRAM and FLASH, they are shifting to the stage where they are viable in niche markets. These emerging NMV technologies are on the track to a $2B TAM by 2020. In this segment, it includes the new marketplace for Persistent Memory which is a RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) memory solution. These RDMA products are moving in the architecture of new systems and are designed to provide a new tier of high speed high capacity storage for compute intensive applications.

On the trend for hard disks, rotating media is still a major component of the storage industry. Advances in recording density technology will bring 12TB drives to market in 2016. On the security side, OPAL self-encrypting drives will be 100% of the manufacturing flow in 2017 for the HDD industry. In all of these drives, there is the application control option to NOT enable the self-encrypting function, so the drives can be used in legacy replacement applications and in enterprise applications where key management systems have not been fully deployed.

One of the main consumers of storage is the professional content creation industry. This marketplace has been encountering increasing storage needs due to higher resolution requirements for TV and cinema. Additional storage needs are being driven by the shift to HDR (High Dynamic Range) content that is increasing the depth of the color planes for all the stored content. Recent shifts coming in 2016 include the rise of panoramic video capture (both full 360 capture and in plane 360 capture), the creation of VR content in a full surround video mode. The new content is being stored in both a raw form captured from the cameras and in a multiple camera format for use with computational imaging. These new content sources have typically 4-16x the data storage requirements for traditional HD video.

The increasing speed of content capture is driving advances in backup and archive. With the use of computational imaging, the concepts for active and cold storage are no longer clear cut. As a result, the archive systems are still very heavily reliant on both rotating media (HDD) and tape. One of the major shifts is to have this archive exist in the cloud for multi-location access rather than traditional single site repositories.

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