Interview | We power and enable data of all types: Khalid Wani, Director-Sales, India, Western Digital

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February 24, 2021 2:30 AM

The year 2020 saw rapid digital transformation, resulting in tremendous growth in data. From using storage solutions like Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to Solid State Drives (SSDs) and cloud storage, consumers and businesses have embraced new solutions to meet their needs.

The 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs and 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs were first previewed in June 2019, and announced in September 2019.

System downtime can cost companies quite a bit of money, both in the long and short term. Recently, some giant tech companies faced operating downtime due to load time issues and limited storage quota. In short, it is time for enterprises to understand the importance of the right storage infrastructure and solutions as per their customised requirements to ensure efficient data management, security, and reduce operational cost, says Khalid Wani, director–sales, India, Western Digital. In 2020, many enterprises accelerated adoption of hybrid storage and cloud, restructured storage operations and took several other steps to be resilient and operational. “Many of these changes are likely to persist in 2021 and continue to impact even after the situation normalises,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

Which are the data storage trends of 2020 that are likely to shape up in 2021?
The year 2020 saw rapid digital transformation, resulting in tremendous growth in data. From using storage solutions like Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to Solid State Drives (SSDs) and cloud storage, consumers and businesses have embraced new solutions to meet their needs.

With any technological transition, there is a quest for higher performance and a better experience. As a result, SSDs are becoming mainstream among consumers as well as in data centres. Newer technology such as NVMe is gaining traction, across the spectrum. We are also seeing uptake in hybrid cloud storage. Moreover, denser storage from high-capacity enterprise HDDs can store more data, hence help produce more revenue, given a constrained data centre footprint.

Khalid Wani, Director, Sales, India, Western Digital

In December 2019, we announced shipping the industry’s highest-capacity HDD samples to enterprise OEMs and hyperscale customers worldwide. The 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs and 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs were first previewed in June 2019, and announced in September 2019.

What kind of growth do you see in the storage solutions space?
According to IDC estimates, the amount of data created by endpoints, the edge, and at the core will reach 143 zettabytes by 2024. We are witnessing an increase in the requirement of data storage solutions due to a large amount of data being generated on the back of emerging innovative technologies to enable remote connectivity. The pandemic started trends like remote working and e-learning, a massive uptake in gaming and home entertainment, smart videos and video security, etc. People and businesses have recognised the importance of these trends and these will see an uptick in the years to come.

What are your observations in terms of storage technology that has been adopted by large enterprises post the pandemic?
Enterprises are witnessing a digitalisation wave, and are opting for cloud and hybrid cloud solutions to address the humongous data growth. This trend is heralding robust growth in the Indian data centre market.

What are the latest/innovative technologies that help reduce data centre costs to enterprises?
The next generation of data centres has the priority to improve designs, reduce operational cost and build efficiencies. A game-changer for data centres and applications, especially for emerging technology workloads, Internet of Things (IoT), and real-time analytics is NVMe, which is designed to maximise flash storage benefits over SATA and SAS, and delivers high performance and low latency. Another important technology is software-defined-Storage (SDS) that enables organisations to respond to digital demands quickly and easily. Western Digital’s range of JBODs and storage servers provide the best building blocks for enterprises to build their CEPH based open stack SDS infrastructure.

How is Western Digital addressing the evolving needs of infrastructure and data management?
Creating environments for data to thrive is our core focus. We power and enable data of all types: big data, fast data, data in the cloud, data at the edge, data at the device level, and more. We are continuously working to offer better performance, higher capacity and easier to use data storage solutions across consumer and enterprise market. We also focus on software in our storage solutions that help users to manage data efficiently.

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