Highlights –

  • Huawei’s VP has predicted that data centers will slowly migrate to an all-flash model, and the cost of flash storage will also fall.
  • The emerging technology will also adhere to the rising data storage demand seeing the present scenario.

Huawei has predicted that Solid-state drives (SSDs) can sidetrack traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to the corner of the data center by 2025. The company’s VP of data storage, Fupeng Zhang, iterated that superior performance of flash storage and falling prices are pulling down the market of HDDs.

Zhang believes that the process will be slow, but the anticipation is that SSDs will take up 80% of non-archival data center storage by 2025, which is 30% above what it is today.

Zhang also explained that there are three main storage attributes that enterprises and cloud providers are trying to enhance: Reliability, capacity, and performance. The mix of these attributes varies from case to case. For example, capacity and reliability may be the most crucial factor in some places; performance may be the chief concern in other places.

The mechanical drives do well on the capacity front, but they lag behind flash storage in terms of performance. The transition is crucial to enable different kinds of edge use cases that will also benefit from technologies such as 5G and AI.

“Without proper performance, capacity means nothing,” Zhang noted.

As data centers will slowly migrate to an all-flash model, Huawei believes because of a fall in the cost of flash shortage. The company’s goal is to help businesses undergo this transition while still maintaining their operations.

Manage data overload

With the volume of data produced by digital devices, IoT, and the internet expanding rapidly, businesses are also losing the time to solve any critical problem: Where to pull it all.

A recent report by IDC reported that the quantity of data created in the next five years would be greater than double the amount generated since digital storage came into use.

Although a small percentage of the 64.2 ZB (68.9 billion TB) created in 2020 was stored for the long term. Global data storage needs are still outpacing the expansion of total capacity. As Zhang puts it, “supply of capacity is decoupling from demand.”

When asked if he believes that innovation in the storage sector will be sufficient for total available capacity to keep pace with demand in the years to come, Zhang suggested he is optimistic.

He noted that DNA storage and other emerging technologies show promise, at least breakthroughs in the field of storage, innovations on the algorithm side, will allow for greater storage density and better compression.

Experts’ view

“Data is no longer just information; it’s an asset – the oil of the digital era. Technologies like 5G, cloud and edge computing are the tools, the data is the fuel, and the storage medium is the fuel tank that guarantees the supply,” said Zhang.

“We are improving on the storage media, networking and compute performance front; with these three improvements, capacity will meet the need.”

“The all-flash data center is a vision for the future,” explained Zhang. “We believe we should build systems with an all-flash mindset, but with backwards compatibility.”

“By 2025, the cheapest flash storage may be 2.5 times more expensive than the cheapest hard drives, but it could also allow for 2.5 times greater compression, so the cost will balance out.”