Continued growth in Cloud and mobile to drive storage in 2013: Seagate

Storage vendor expects Cloud computing and mobile connectivity to further drive demand for storage

Data consumption and creation will continue to be robust in 2013.

That is according to Seagate Technology Asia Pacific and Japan senior vice president and managing director, BanSeng Teh, who also expects the growth of global internet connectivity continue this year.

“For example, in 2012, the total digital information in the world is about 2.7 zettabytes,” he said.

“This is increased by almost 50 per cent since 2011.”

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011-2016) backs up this notion by forecasting the annual global IP traffic to 1.3 zettabytes by 2016.

Teh highlights that between 2015 and 2016, the increase of global traffic is expected to hit more than 330 exabytes.

“This is almost equal to the total amount of global traffic of 369 exabytes in 2011,” he said.

The growth can be laid at the feet of computing changing “fundamentally and at a rapid pace.”

“Change is driven by open source software, Cloud infrastructure and architectures, and mobility,” Teh said.

A report by IDC, titled Worldwide Enterprise Storage for Public and Private Cloud 2011-2015 Forecast: Enabling Public Cloud Service Providers and Private Clouds, has enterprise hard disk drive capacity demand, for both public and private Cloud services, accounting for 13.7 exabytes of the 58.6 exabytes of total enterprise compute capacity in 2011.

Teh expects the figure to nearly triple in the next ten years.

“Many cloud providers are moving away from traditional enterprise hardware and software to open architectures that use open source software and APIs,” he said.

Another key trend Seagate is forecasting for this year is the continued growth of mobility.

Teh sees mobile lifestyle becoming increasingly visible today, both at enterprise and consumer levels, with tablets continuing to evolve.

“It may result in a notebook refresh cycle to lengthen, depending on macro-economic conditions and competitive product offerings,” he said.

With Seagate supplying hard disks to notebooks, Teh is optimistic that new notebook offerings, including thin and light systems, will renewed growth in this market in 2013.

“We also remain optimistic about the long term impact of Windows 8 and other operating systems that enhance the user experience by incorporating touch, keyboard, pen, voice and gesture,” he said.

Hybrid heaven

As for where all these trends lead to, Teh said it translated into opportunities for the storage industry and Seagate.

The vendor already has engagement with a wide spectrum of customers, from end users to OEMs to cloud service providers, with third generation solid state hybrid notebook drives currently on the market.

The said the company is also expanding this technology into desktop and enterprise products.

“We also have new 7mm and 5mm products that are with customers for qualification and evaluation which position us very well for the new thin and light notebook systems,” he said.

In the consumer space, Seagate’s Backup Plus family of external drives and Satellite mobile wireless storage are targeting users that want to protect and share their digital life.

From a partner perspective, the focus will be on the Cloud Builder Alliance program, which Seagate announced in September last year.

“It is part of our existing Seagate Partner Program, which enables our partners to expand their businesses by providing Cloud storage technology,” Teh said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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