Seagate opines that the current AI era has created an unprecedented demand for data storage. IDC estimates that 291ZB of data will be generated in 2027. The speed at which data is growing is calling for continued or even accelerated innovation to cope with the exploding demand for storage.
Below are Seagate’s predictions for data storage in the AI era
As generative AI becomes more democratized, data storage will drive AI success.
Businesses will be saving more operational data to teach AI, machine learning, and deep learning models moving forward; more companies will train models on both external and internal data so they can benefit from their proprietary information.
Hyperscale tech giants are expected to accelerate investment into cloud capacity to support AI program maturation. AI will also drive increased IT spending and data storage demand in the enterprise, as businesses seek a competitive edge through improvements to productivity and efficiency.
Data centre refreshes will benefit from leaps forward in hard drive areal density.
With nearly 90% of data in cloud data centres residing on hard drives, there is an opportunity to replace fleets of lower-capacity hard drives with higher-capacity drives, as and when refresh cycles come.
This includes the use of heat-resisted magnetic recording (HAMR) in high-density drives, which will mean significant power and space savings and massive TCO efficiencies—including CPU, RAM, and floor space. Not to mention help reduce carbon footprint with more durable and energy-efficient storage.
Flash and hard drive technology will continue to coexist in the data centre in 2024.
The exponential data growth will drive demand for mass-capacity hard drives, whose synergy with flash storage will continue to support modern workloads. Hard drives will remain the most cost-effective option for most capacity-centric storage tasks.
Seagate claims hard drive storage will offer mass data storage at less than one-fifth the cost of comparable all-flash solutions on a per bit basis, and that the value gap will not come close to closing next year—or over the next decade.
Data storage will shape three major applications of the future.
Edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT): The integration of edge computing with IoT technologies is pushing the boundaries of data storage, demanding unprecedented scalability, latency, and operational flexibility to correlate real-time data with vast historical datasets for immediate analysis and forecasting.
Quantum computing and data processing: The rise of quantum computing demands new data storage architectures to prevent data loss due to the volatile nature of qubits. This will require quantum-safe cryptographic solutions.
Genomic data and precision medicine: A single human genome requires up to 200GB of storage space. As this data accumulates across millions of individuals, healthcare systems face logistical hurdles and ethical and privacy concerns.
Advanced analytics tools using machine learning algorithms are also being fine-tuned to analyse this vast amount of data swiftly and accurately. This evolving data infrastructure aims to pave the way for a future in healthcare where genomic profiles guide everything from preventive measures to targeted therapies, thereby enhancing patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency.