All-Flash Storage Paving the Way for a Future-Proof Data Center
As data continues its trend towards increased unstructured formats, the requirements of today's enterprise storage landscape are evolving. Enterprises now demand heightened performance and faster speeds to effectively manage this unstructured data, a challenge that legacy HDDs' spinning disks often struggle to meet. The logical and prevalent solution to this challenge is the adoption of flash storage.
In an exclusive interview with VARINDIA, Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager at Pure Storage, elucidates on why the relevance of HDDs is diminishing, while flash storage, despite its higher price point, is poised to dominate the data center landscape in the coming years.
HDDs vs. Flash Storage
The adoption of all-flash data centers has been on an upward trajectory due to the manifold advantages they offer over traditional storage solutions. While Hard-drive disks (HDDs) have historically been a more economical choice and continue to be utilized in the majority of global data centers, there is a growing consensus that all-flash storage is shaping the future of data centers.
Although flash storage initially entered the market at a higher price point, its competitiveness has significantly increased in recent years. These drives consume considerably less power than HDDs of similar capacity, with today's all-flash solutions requiring up to 80% less power and space. Furthermore, all-flash storage, devoid of moving parts, is less prone to wearing out over extended periods or failing due to overheating. In nearly every scenario, all-flash solutions make economic sense, offering immediate cost savings in power, cooling, and space, along with long-term benefits through reduced e-waste.
Additionally, in the context of backup and recovery post a ransomware incident, disk-based systems can be notably time-consuming in restoring data. Flash-based systems, on the other hand, deliver faster restore performance, enabling businesses to resume operations more swiftly compared to legacy disk-based architectures.
Pure Storage asserts that by 2028, practically no new, all-HDD storage systems will be sold for data centers. This prediction is substantiated by a significant decline in HDD shipments over the past decade — from over 651 million units in 2010 to 166 million in 2022.
“Pure Storage’s flash storage devices, known as DirectFlash Modules (DFMs), currently ship in 75TB capacity. By the end of 2024, we anticipate shipping 150TB DFMs, and our projection extends to 300TB DFMs by 2026. In contrast, the industry is currently shipping 2-20TB HDDs in volume and may reach 25-30TB HDDs in volume by 2026,” states Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager at Pure Storage.
India’s Surging Storage Requirements
India is poised for a significant surge in digital transformation, driven by the escalating demand for data and storage. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%, India boasts the fastest-growing data center market in the Asia-Pacific region, valued at $7 billion. The internet economy's contribution to India’s technology sector is expected to rise from 48% in 2022 to 62% by 2030.
“Pure Storage stands as the sole company in data storage capable of addressing the entire storage price-performance range with all-flash technology. We provide a single, consistent operating and management environment, delivering a cloud operating model that effectively virtualizes multi-cloud data storage. Our strategic partnerships with leading hardware, software, and multicloud vendors focus on Accelerating Applications (traditional and modern), Enabling Multi-Cloud, Modern Data Protection, and facilitating real-time analytics,” affirms Ramanujam.
He adds, “Our ongoing collaborations with industry leaders such as NVIDIA, Cisco, VMware, etc., enable us to provide the most modern data experience to our customers, supporting innovation and enhancing IT productivity.”
Every sector of the Indian industry is witnessing exponential growth in the demand for Enterprise Flash Storage. BFSI remains a significant vertical, followed by substantial AI-driven projects in the government and education sectors. The rise of AI and Generative AI presents growth opportunities across various verticals. There is also an increasing demand for sovereign cloud, especially in the financial services industry, in response to tightening regulations regarding data use and localization.
Pure Storage remains dedicated not only to increasing market share and expanding its footprint in India but is also committed to India’s growth agenda. Its R&D center plays a pivotal role in Pure Storage’s global innovation engine, contributing significantly to technological breakthroughs in the data storage and data management space.
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