Data Center Storage Futures

Data storage technology is taking a giant leap in evolution, offering the most powerful capabilities the world has yet to see, in compact form, here are some highlights you need to know about the future of data storage technology and what it means for you.

Storage Density

Less is about to become more in terms of size, with mind-blowing speed, performance and storage capacity. The biggest change you can expect from data storage technology in the future is the physical size of the storage technologies. The industry is beginning to roll out astonishingly compact storage devices that will have you wondering how you ever survived with a hard drive, USB stick or floppy drive.

What’s so revolutionary about this new technology isn’t necessarily the size but rather, the power that can be found in such density.

HCI Footprint

The new, compact storage devices will play a significant role for the HCI footprint, allowing you to plug more into your integrated server via the new infrastructure. Previously, you had a select few options to increase storage. You could update an existing HCI node via swapping or adding an HDD or SDD, in order to increase storage or you could add a storage-heavy node to increase storage but it would come with limited compute.

With the revolutionary new storage technologies, you can expect the highest density the industry has seen. The traditional Tier-3 storage architectures have already been knocked down to more than 16:1 consolidation ratios for customers and the future of storage is expected to double the current capacity.

To put it into perspective, Nutanix 2U block/chassis structure in 2015 offered 4 host servers with a max of 16.6TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center. Today, the same 4-node Nutanix 2U block offers 55.6TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center. This is a 315% increase in storage density.

Come the future, if HCI technology begins to incorporate the anticipated 20TB HDDS for enterprise use, it is expected that the Nutanix 2U structure will have a minimum 200% increase in storage density, offering 111.2TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center.  We say, bring it on!

PMR vs HAMR

HAMR is predicted to follow in suit with the new data storage changes, bringing hard drives that use Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) to the forefront. This is a significant change from Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), a method used almost exclusively prior to the introduction to HAMR.

Advantages of HAMR over PMR

HAMR offers immense storage capacity and storage density that simply isn’t offering in PMR form, so much so that they’re on track to providing 20TB drives by 2019, with a predicted 30% compound annual growth rate in data density moving forward. By 2023, you can expect to see 40TB or higher by 2023. To put it into perspective, that’s an improvement of 10X over PMR drives.

Additionally, HAMR drives offering more reliability due to the glass media used in their manufacturing. Each part that makes up a HAMR drive gets be heated and cooled in a nanosecond, and although a laser diode is used during the writing process, it has no impact on the temperature, stability or reliability. As a result, HAMR offers trustworthy technology the industry has yet to see.

From floppy disks to zip drives, USB sticks and hard drives, data storage technologies have come a long way in a significantly short period and it’s not about to end. 2018 starts the beginning of a revolutionary technology that will inevitably shape the future and the way businesses operate moving forward. It will be interesting to see where the physics of RAID algorithms fair compared to companies opting for distributed file systems which offer faster rebuild times. Whilst Zycom is eager to deploy and play with these forecasted larger data drives for HCI in particular, we do so with extreme curiosity for the results of rebuild times in RAID versus DFS.

 

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