Hu Yoshida

Storage Capacity is More of a Concern Than Performance

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Sep 4, 2018

Enterprise Storage Forum recently published their 2018 Storage Trends surveywhich made some interesting observations. The biggest challenges for IT and business leaders with operating their current storage infrastructure were aging equipment and lack of storage capacity.



While much of the focus today is on high performance flash and NVMe, the critical concerns are still around aging gear, lack of capacity, high cost of operations, security, high maintenance costs, and silos before poor performance issues.


When one considers the data explosion being accelerated by Big Data, IoT, the increasing use of meta data, and AI/Machine learning, it is not surprising that storage capacity should be our greatest concern. You’ve heard analysts say that data is the new oil that fuels digital transformation. However, unlike oil that is consumed once, data will be consumed over and over again as long as we can store it. Machine learning gets more intelligent as it consumes more data, and that data can be reused for new learning models and analysis. In that sense data is more like gold in that it retains and may even increase in value. But unlike gold, data can be replicated many times over for protection, compliance, accessibility and many other requirements, driving the need for more and more storage.


According to a survey of organizations involved in Big Data, AI and IoT applications, conducted by NVMe analyst firm G2M, “Over 79% of respondents believe that current processing/storage architectures will not be able to handle the amount of data in their industry in the next 5 years.”


Trendfocus reports that 2Q 2018 HDD storage capacitygrew to 214.60 Exabytes, up 3%, breaking the previous record of 204.07 EB shipped in 1Q 2018. This growth was driven mainly by the nearline HDD market with sales reaching 14.15 million and totaling 104.35 EB in 2Q. Most of nearline capacity growth was driven by enterprise systems where 43% of nearline units had capacities of 10TB or higher. Total SSD capacity shipped in 2Q 2018 was an increase of 5% over 1Q and is estimated to be about 20 EB. SSD capacities are increasing with 3D NAND (capacity is increased by stacking the memory cells vertically in multiple layers), and the capacity price of an SSD is now almost equivalent to enterprise HDD at about $.25 to $.27 per GB.  Nearline HDDs are still much lower at $.02 and $.03 per GB which explains their growth in the storage market.  Most applications don’t require the higher performance of an SSD so a hybrid array with a mix of SSD, HDD, storage virtualization, and automated tiering to the cloud could be the best solution for capacity and aging infrastructure concerns.


Two of the key takeaways according to this 2018 storage trends survey referenced above are:


“Performance and cost drivers run neck-and-neck.
Balancing performance and cost aren't exactly new to storage administrators. What is new is the extreme storage performance that is now available with flash and flash accelerating technologies like NVMe. They are costlier than hybrid systems or lower cost AFAs, so it's important for IT to conduct detailed cost analyses for high performance storage purchases.


Flash adoption is steady but not roaring ahead of HDD.
HDD's installed base is massive and works well with all but the fastest high-performance applications. It makes no sense for IT to rip and replace disk-based or hybrid systems - and may not for years to come. Flash/SSD is still the high-performance choice: important for transactional systems but not critical for most business applications.”



The net today is that capacity is more of a concern than performance and hybrid arrays with a mix of SSD for performance and HDD for capacity with cloud connectivity may be the best option for IT and business leaders who want to optimize their storage infrastructure.


For more information on what Hitachi Vantara has in store to to address your data and storage requirements, join us at NEXT 2018, September 25 to 27 in beautiful San Diego. The theme is" Your Data. Your Innovation."