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Friday, May 25, 2012

The evolving cloud and how it impacts storage – Part 1 of 4


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The evolving cloud and how it impacts storage – Part 1 of 4

via Inside IT Storage by Mark Wojtasiak on 5/17/12


This past March, Wes Perdue, Seagate's  Director of PLM Cloud Strategy at Seagate spoke at World Hosting Days in Europa-Park Rust, Germany.  The topic: The Evolving Cloud and How it Impacts Storage.  We have taken the transcript of Wes's presentation and created this 4 part series covering:

  • Part 1: Storage and the Evolving Cloud
  • Part 2: The Seagate Cloud Strategy
  • Part 3: Data Protection, Security, and Cold Storage in the Cloud
  • Part 4: The Cloud: Keys to Success

Part 1: Storage and the Evolving Cloud

The cloud space is very important to Seagate.  In fact it's a strategic imperative.  The service providers do things just a little bit different than their traditional IT brethren.  They push the envelope in a lot of different ways, increasing efficiencies, improving costs, and we're off as a drive manufacturer to fully understand those differences and what opportunities exist to optimize storage devices for this space.

The WW Cloud Market

From a storage growth standpoint, in terms of US dollars in billions, the worldwide cloud services market is approximately 100 billion dollars and in a couple years, it's approaching 150 billion dollars.  As a hard drive manufacturer, it's difficult to hard to get our arms around what this means from a capacity or a drive unit standpoint. But, what we know is that these services enable and drive new applications, and those applications need data, and they need storage.

2011 Cloud Markets by Geo

From a worldwide perspective, about 57 percent of the cloud services revenue is in the Americas, 19 percent in Europe, and the rest in Asia Pacific. If you had to look one area with the strongest growth, it's probably in Asia Pacific.  They have the smallest percentage, but the largest potential.

Connected Devices need Servers

Over the next few years, analysts are projecting 790 million smartphones and 300 million tablets will be sold worldwide. According to Intel, for every 600 smartphones, you need a server, and for every 122 tablets, you need a server.  So you need 1.3 million servers to support those smartphones. You need 2.5 million servers to support those tablets.  That's 3.8 million servers to support this mobile infrastructure.  And, servers require storage.

Enterprise Capacity Demand

So, how many drives? How much capacity in terms of enterprise drives that went into a cloud infrastructure.  Last year, 2011, 23 percent of enterprise capacity was for a cloud infrastructure. And in a couple years, that's projected to be 39 percent. Seagate does not contend that all data is going to go into the cloud, because the nature of some of the data, and/or the culture of some companies. In particular, with public clouds, there is just going to be data companies simply don't entrust to a third party.  They may create a private cloud behind their firewall within their four walls instead.  Still, we don't know that every piece of data created is going to be in the cloud at some point in time, but need less to say, a good portion of data will be.

The Demand for Storage Devices

What we do know is that this is driving a lot of storage devices.  By the end of the decade, we are looking at a billion hard drives, and over 200 million solid-state drives shipped worldwide.  If we project that more than half of these devices will be in the cloud in some way shape or form, it's important to understand how cloud service providers do things differently, and design such requirements into our products.

We'll cover that in future posts in this series.  The next post will cover exactly how Seagate is strategizing around the cloud.

Stay tuned.



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