PHOTO - Hu Yoshida, VP and CTO, Hitachi Data Systems.
Current challenges in the HDD sector, which include supply shortages and cost increases by manufacturers due to the recent floods in Thailand, need to be met with enhanced capacity efficiency as the prices may not come down in the future, said storage solutions firm Hitachi Data Systems.
"The storage world has changed forever and prices may not come down," said visiting Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) chief technology officer Hu Yoshida, speaking in Kuala Lumpur on 22 February 2012. "According to analyst firm Gartner, December 2011, HDD (hard disk drive) prices are expected to rise between five and 20 percent this year."
"However, the cost of retooling new factories in Thailand, which provided 40 percent of global storage products, could mean that storage prices may at best flatline but will not come down. Storage price per capacity over time from 1950 has shown a price decline until the third quarter of 2011. Then, because of Thailand floods, prices started to increase," said Yoshida, who added that the industry needed to recoup the lost revenues due to the Thailand floods in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Hitachi Data Systems Malaysia managing director Johnson Khoo said that Thailand needed to build new facilities, which with retooling costs are expensive in order to achieve the level of dust-free manufacturing environment required for production. "Storage prices were becoming lower in recent years, but the impact of the disasters has reversed this trend to some extent. While HDD prices may flatten in the near future, they are unlikely to go down."
"The explosion of data is being driven as well by BYOD [being your own device] and use of mobile devices especially in developing countries such as India," said HDS' Yoshida. "Though supplies may normalise by this summer, we will not see price decreases. In addition, according to IDC's state of file-based storage in organisations [June 2011], unstructured data will continue to explode to 79 exabytes by 2015."
Hitachi's new Capacity Efficiency campaign
"There is a need for increasing storage capacity while at the same increasing service levels, which is why Hitachi Data Systems is launching its Capacity Efficiency campaign," said Yoshida. "As the cost of storage is the most important aspect, we especially need to eliminate redundancies in storage (backup of backups), to increase the efficiency of capacity utilisation, and increase the capitalisation of storage assets from three-to-five years to five-to-seven years as well as separate storage intelligence from storage capacity, which demands virtualisation of storage."
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