Innovation in Storage
At several storage conferences this fall, analysts raised a warning flag to manufacturers that consumer products could need more reliability and more engineering than their traditional enterprise customers, who have a more realistic understanding of how storage can go wrong. The analysts mentioned that consumer market expectations for performance and reliability may be out of alignment with the current state of HDD technology. Click here to read more about the technologies hard drive makers will employ to meet expected capacity goals.Has the storage industry solved these basic issues for users? Nope. Progress is incremental, which is another way of saying "slow." Part of the problem, as I pointed out in a past column, is that the one note of the storage industry R&D is pitched towards raising the aereal density of hard drives (or flash). At the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Associations annual Diskcon conference in Santa Clara, Calif., storage technology consultant Charles Sobey called for the industry to "break the tyranny" of aereal density and seek a wider range of improvements to fundamental storage products. Do enterprise clients really need bigger and bigger hard disks? Maybe not. Click here to read more. What were some of his suggestions? Here were a few:
At the same time, enterprise customers seek greater performance, security and energy-savings from their storage purchases.
- How about a drive that can last at least 50 years? Thats the minimum time paper records can hold its data.
- Storage systems that ensure retention of data and its access in the future. This also involves the engineering of disk formats and file standards for the long term.
- Hard disk storage that supports alternative energy sources.