Solving Digital India's Big Data Conundrum

by Sohini Bagchi    May 04, 2017


Technology is accelerating at a rapid pace. The storage industry, globally and in India, is also in a state of change with traditional storage giving way to advanced and innovative solutions. There is a huge demand in storage space across sectors, with a report suggesting that the storage market in India to display a CAGR 7% of growth from 2016 to 2021. The government’s Digital India and smart cities drive and also with the advent of emerging technologies such as IoT, mobility, cloud, machine learning and connected homes, the need for accessing data is increasing, and storage solution providers need to adapt with these technologies. 

Aiming to take the government’s Digital India and smart cities initiative to the next level, Vivek Tyagi, Director for India business development, SanDisk Commercial sales and Support at Western Digital Corporation, explains the company’s role in the process and how the IT storage industry is shaping up in the country.

- CXOToday: After Western Digital completed the acquisition of SanDisk Corporation last year, do you see a difference to the former’s position in the market?

Vivek Tyagi: The acquisition of SanDisk has made Western Digital Corporation into a one stop shop for consumer storage needs.  Western Digital Corporation has been a leader in hard drive storage catering to consumers and enterprises. With the acquisition of SanDisk, a player in solid state drives with flash, we are able to interact with the end customer to architect complete solutions addressing both hard drive as well as SSD needs. This integration has helped us to increase our intellectual property and solutions component which is essential to meet customer requirements.

- CXOToday: What are the key changes you have noticed in the global storage market over the last 4-5 years? What’s driving these changes?

Vivek Tyagi: The data storage market is growing at a record setting pace with a report suggesting a projected CAGR of more than 7% during 2016-2021. There has been a significant change in the global storage market due to the vast amount of unstructured data generation in the past few years. Growth in e-commerce sector and penetration of smartphones among urban and semi-urban population is significantly increasing the data storage requirements in the country. Banking, professional services, manufacturing and government continue to be the key contributors. Earlier, the data collected would be stored in a specific format and was structured; now with the massive surge in data being entered by consumers, many websites especially in the e-commerce sector do not have a specific format for collecting this data. This creates heaps of unwanted data which is hard to process, analyse and identify useful information from.

A MarketsandMarketsreport for video surveillance storage solutions and services estimated growth at a CAGR of 16.3% from 2013 to 2018. Individuals and organizations have gradually started to shift their focus on security and surveillance solutions and with new technologies emerging tremendous opportunities have opened up for organizations with respect to the options and specifications available to them in terms of security, which could include the ability to withstand challenging weather conditions, large capacity, mobile access, 4K resolution or archival properties that allow the user to be able to playback the video with minimal difficulty whenever required.Some of the key factors that drive the storage market are:

Need for Performance: As the amount of data is increasing there is a growing need for storage solutions that perform faster and more efficiently. Devices which facilitate more responsiveness, virtual storage, scalability and faster boot times are in need.- Reliable solution: The huge upsurge in data generation requires a storage solution which is reliable to store data for a long period of time. The current ranges of SSD storage solutions have low servicing costs and fast uptimes.- Cost effectiveness: As the need for improved storage solutions increases, it also impacts on the amount of investment that would go into it. Therefore, organizations not only require solutions that are efficient but also emit less heat, consume less power and occupy a certain amount of floor space and still provide the answers.

- CXOToday: What are your thoughts about the India market? What verticals and businesses are you focusing on in the country? What is the latest product announcement and why do you think it is important for the India market?

Vivek Tyagi: The India market for Western Digital is a stand-alone core region for the company. WDC’s R&D centre based out of Bangalore drives R&D for consumer flash storage as well as enterprise, memory technology. The objective is not to just be the largest storage company or to be on a dissimilar scale in the country but to be the best company for storage solutions in India as well as globally. Our aim is to create a value system for the customers to consider us to be their first choice.

Some sectors that Western Digital Corporation has focused on include the Media and Entertainment industry and the archival and maintenance of large amounts of video and audio files generated in the past 100 years of Indian cinema. WDC’s ActiveScale System was recently implemented to archive Jazz music going back 50 years and our focus in India also is to be able to do something on a similar scale. The other sectors that we have looked at include telecom industry, life sciences, cloud service providers and e-commerce companies. Also, Western Digital Corporation recently launched the 512 GB 64 layer 3D NAND chip; the latest achievement to enhance our 3D NAND flash storage portfolio.

- CXOToday: What’s your focus on Digital India? Can you tell us about some of the work you have been doing in this area?

Vivek Tyagi: The Digital India initiative results in the creation, accessing, modification and saving of large amount of data. Western Digital Corporation[1] plays an important role in the Digital India scheme and through our solutions we are making efforts to support this mission. We believe that cloud infrastructure plays a critical role in driving this initiative.

There is a dire need to be able to come up with better and more enhanced storage solutions for the increasing amount of data getting generated. Post the integration with SanDisk; we now have a product portfolio that includes flash memory, be it for your phones, laptops or data centers. The backbone of this scheme is a strong infrastructure, one that is capable to operate at the same level as its global counterparts.

Western Digital Corporation also plays a role in the Smart and Safe Cities initiative. Surveillance storage used in NVRs and DVRs allows for the data to be collected and stored in a manner that it can be used later. WDC supported a report by the Smart Cities Council of India which discusses in detail about the opportunities that this scheme will open, challenges that would be faced by organizations for the implementation of this scheme and what are the advantages of such a scheme in India.

- CXOToday: What is your next steps for the India market? What are your channel roadmap?

Vivek Tyagi: With the integration of SanDisk, Western Digital Corporation has expanded its focus in the enterprise SSD market which requires more awareness from channel partners’ about flash storage products and the ability to leverage the existing channel partners with the knowledge available to open paths for enterprise sector.

Post integration, one of the areas that the company has extensively focused on is enablement, to feed the channel ecosystem the right information. This includes training and education for channel partners in person, online and via apps. Apart from this, we have held get-togethers, programs and workshops throughout various regions in India. There is a whole web ecosystem that exists for channel enablement and that is one of the key reasons that WDC is considered a channel friendly organization.