Where Is Data Storage Heading? Views Of Seagate & EMC Leaders

by Preeti S    Aug 06, 2015

Mark Re and Chad Sakac

With rapid growth of digital content across technology platforms, there is a significant change in the way data is stored and managed. Ever-increasing customer demands are prompting storage industry leaders to devise innovative products and solutions that go a step beyond just meeting expectations.

Markets and Markets estimates that the public/private cloud storage market will grow from $13.57 billion in 2014 to $56.57 billion in 2019. The factors driving that growth are spread across existing technologies like cloud, big data and the emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables.

Here, Chad Sakac, President, EMC Global Systems Engineering, and Mark Re, Senior Vice President and CTO, Seagate, provide insights about the technology trends influencing the storage market.


Chad Sakac, President, EMC Global Systems Engineering

Traditional architectures are slowing down, emerging architectures are speeding up. If I were a customer, I would seek a tech partner that is invested in legacy and also investing in the future too. We have posted 300 pc profit leading with the Flash market. We have posted merging of technologies in storage domain which is $3bn and growing at 30 pc per year

Interesting technology in this domain is NAND, a popular non-volatile memory. So, Flash is changing the world, but there is a lot of R&D and venture funding happening, not to replace FLASH but to popularize the next wave of the non-persistent non-volatile memory. Carbon Nanotube memory is the future. All these are moving out of the laboratory and are in early stage of production.

In-memory database will be disruptive from the whole data perspective. Database is dominated by traditional relational databases invested in 1980s. They not only power traditional transactions like banks and hedgefunds, but they are also doing real-time analytics for risks, machine learning algorithms, and changing how people develop software. Telcos are using data correlate your GPS information with what you are putting on Twitter. Those things are all powered by in-memory databases.  

There is innovation in the ecosystem. We can expect more around Next-gen data fabrics and storage models for IoT and in-memory database, which are the new ways of developing applications. 



Mark Re, Senior Vice President and CTO, Seagate

In our constant endeavour to increase the storage space in devices, Seagate invented Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR). We have over 3,000 drives with that technology.

The technology of the next decade is heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) camera. By integrating optic sensor into the recording, we can write smaller bits. We can increase the amount of storage in the given area of device. If traditionally the device stored 1 terabyte per square inch, using this tech it can be expanded to 5 terabyte.

We have adopted changes in storage. With introduction of NAND Flash we have many products enabling faster access to data. Another innovation of the company is the hybrid drive which is a marriage of the high-capacity hard drive with Flash that is much faster. 

Big data and analytics are key growth areas for Seagate. There is a big shift in storage technology with increasing amount of data. 

The cloud storage is effective and has three layers: Top layer is Flash storage with a broad portfolio of hard data, then comes the data that is accessed regularly and the lower layer is like a cold storage with data that is not checked regularly. 

IoT is driving a large amount of data. We are able to economically manage data, analyze quickly and understand market trends like machine to machine interactions. So we have products that enable decisions for IoT. We have hard drive installations where we can capture and analyze data.