Hard Drives the Reasonable Solution for Affordable High-Capacity Storage
What do you think will be the key trends related to storage in 2010 – and why? What technologies are driving the market?
Some analysts expect the digital universe to double in size every 18 months. In 2012, the digital information created is expected to be five times as much as that created in 2008. This translates into good news for the hard disk drive industry. Services such as Web 2.0, social networking, file-sharing, online games and affordable PC prices and availability of low-cost netbooks have fuelled the need for broadband consumption [Source: Frost & Sullivan, August 2009], and in turn are creating the need for more storage. We foresee storage needs to continue growing as more and more personal memories, entertainment and professional digital content are being downloaded, created, captured and stored.
Recently, you entered into a partnership with Intel to develop enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs). What is the role of Hitachi GST in this process?
Hitachi GST and Intel will jointly develop enterprise SSDs. Intel is responsible for Flash and SSD manufacturing, while Hitachi GST is responsible for customer qualifications, sales, fulfilment and support. The products jointly developed are exclusively marketed and sold by Hitachi GST with Hitachi branding and logo.
What is your opinion on the competition between flash drives and HDDs? Will flash drives replace HDDs in the high-end enterprise segment anytime soon?
Solid-State Disks or SSDs complement existing enterprise-class hard drives and are intended for use in storage applications that require extremely high I/O performance (IOP) and power efficiency. IT mangers will use HDDs and SSDs interchangeably in tiered pools of storage, depending on the need for capacity or performance, and power efficiency.
Enterprise-class HDDs continue to deliver a solid value proposition for the majority of Enterprise storage users. SSDs will deliver a unique combination of extreme IOPs and power efficiency designed for the highest Enterprise workload applications.
On the consumer side, the proliferation of handheld entertainment devices and our ever- increasing digital lives, is causing the need for more storage. Users will want to consolidate and back up this data to an affordable, easy-to-use external storage solution – and that will happen on hard drive-based solution. HDDs continue to offer superior cost per gigabyte, enabling consumers as well as product designers to make use of high capacity in an affordable package. With the ever-expanding data storage requirements of the digital consumer, hard drives will continue to be the reasonable solution for affordable high-capacity storage in the foreseeable future.
What is your distribution strategy? How do you ensure profitability for your partners?
We see channel partners as our strategic business partners, who help us to grow our channel footprint and strengthen presence, market share and awareness. Our relationship has been strong and successful so far and we have been able to tap new and emerging applications via channels that reach out to specific vertical sectors, for instance surveillance, media/ broadcast segments, SMBs, etc.
Hitachi’s HPP programme is an ongoing, long-term customer loyalty programme targeting resellers, system integrators, system builders and retailers in 35 states and territories across India. For the whole of 2009, the HPP programme in India registered an increase of 21 per cent in the total number of registered members compared to 2008, and an increase of 91 per cent in the total number of members whom consistently reported Hitachi hard drive sales data compared to 2008. This followed a revamp of the HPP system in early 2009, to a more robust, online system.