Tuesday, 3rd August 2021
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How storage is changing for the data age

Consumers everywhere are sharing data at lightning fast speeds and with extraordinary frequency — from videos and photographs to personal data, creative musings and medical records, with virtually everything being stored digitally for future reference. There are billions of mobile phones in the world, emitting 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data each month. By Richard Walsh, head of memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor Europe.

As more devices continue to connect to the Internet of Things, we will continue to see more sensors being added to new devices, from automobiles to home appliances that will increase the data output even more.


And as 5G connectivity ushers in the era of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, it is changing both the lives of consumers and the infrastructure on which they rely. New use cases have shifted demands for the global server market and changed the direction of technology infrastructure.

So how is the world of storage changing in light of these trends?

Stronger servers, faster networks

This digital transformation has meant optimizing servers with fast, high-density memory and storage solutions that can support both traditional and hybrid cloud workloads while maintaining cost efficiency. It has also meant that network bandwidth and reliability are more important than ever as businesses shift to the cloud or put an emphasis on edge computing. Power and performance must be at the heart of semiconductor solutions for servers and networks, ensuring enterprise users always have fast, reliable, cost-efficient infrastructure solutions.

Performance meets reliability

Because the world is trending towards data-heavy workloads, enterprise server and storage administrators face a serious challenge in building stable, mission-critical infrastructure on a budget. New storage solutions need to bring reliability and superior performance to server solutions with end-to-end integration and complete quality control. As we strive to improve SSDs they will require a variety of interfaces and form factors to deliver maximum performance no matter what kind of ecosystem you are operating in.

Mobile devices need memory systems that can read and write at the same pace as the network to avoid creating a performance bottleneck while processing UHD content. Not only will mobile devices require more RAM to handle 5G-enabled multimedia applications and tasks, but increased download speed will also drive the need for faster and larger storage.

Unlocking the potential of 5G

The era of 5G, incorporating everything from augmented reality to IoT, is increasing the demand for edge computing and distributed cloud capabilities. And while the demands of 5G on storage in terms of reliability, performance and speed will be immense, storage systems themselves are only as effective as the networks that connect systems and transport data. 5G requires complex, scalable networks that are capable of supporting high capacities and a variety of connections.

Three key technologies are enabling 5G networks to take giant leaps in improving speed, latency and connectivity – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type connectivity (mMTC).

Ultra-high speed is undoubtedly one of the key features of 5G, which is enabled by eMBB. While a high-definition film takes minutes to download on 4G, it requires just seconds to complete with a 5G connection. With eMBB support, 5G can transmit data 20 times faster than 4G.

With URLLC, 5G networks can be ten times more responsive than 4G, opening up new real-time experiences that require quick responses, such as self-driving cars and drones.

The arrival of 5G will initiate a new connectivity paradigm in which a large number of devices connect to the internet. Instead of relying on people to manage communications between devices, mMTC will allow IoTs to interact with one another autonomously for a seamless consumer experience.

Unlocking the power of cloud computing

Cloud computing has become a technology buzzword in recent years, and for good reasons. For businesses and organisations of all sizes, the technology offers greater flexibility, enhances collaboration between employees, improves efficiency and much more. Analysts estimate that 90 percent of organisations will adopt cloud services by 2022.

Despite the tremendous advantages it offers, cloud computing faces a number of challenges as it continues to expand, building on industry-leading SSD technology. To do so we must ensure that we are maximising the performance of SSDs that offer greater speeds than previous generations whilst providing single and dual-port options for diverse server and storage applications.

As we continue to see more and more devices become connected to the IoT, ensuring that we have the technology in place to keep the user experience seamless and efficient everywhere will be more important than ever. To do so we must keep investing relentlessly in R&D and ground-breaking technologies that allows to keep up with the continued exponential increase of data usage around the globe.

By JG Heithcock, General Manager of Retrospect, a StorCentric Company.
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