Storage has been and continues to be something we all need to deal with in one way or another. The technology is changing faster than ever and keeping up with those changes is essential as these developments can help you steamline and/or improve just about every aspect of your digital experience. And that goes from workflows to backups to archives.
To help us figure out where things are headed we caught up with Tom Coughlin to talk about his involvement with digital storage, how things have changed in digital storage and what sort of developments he sees on the horizon. We also talked to him about the 2014 Storage Visions conference that is coming up in January and is set to be the place where you'll meet and hear from the innovators driving this technology forward.
DAM Coalition: You've previously told us about how you got into the storage space, but can you tell us why you have such an interest in it? What attracts you to this specific part of the industry?
Tom Coughlin: Digital storage is a communication channel to the future. In this digital age this is how we will record our lives and our wants, our sorrows and our adventures. Mankind's desire for knowledge and information has no bounds and digital storage will be the repository to this ever-growing universal (and personal) content library. I think it is exciting to be part of such a vital and enabling technology and I have enjoyed my 30+ years working on, as well as talking and writing about, digital storage technology.
What's the one thing people don't realize about storage?
One thing? Well, an important element is that although the physical life of storage devices may differ, bringing data into the future requires regular back-ups and data migration. If this is not done data will be lost. In many surveys I have conducted or have been part of there appears to be 20-30% of the population that either does not back up or doesn't back up regularly.
Do you think individuals and organizations have changed the way they think about storage? Or do they still need to change?
The underlying storage technologies are experiencing rapid evolution. For instance, the growing use of flash memory has led to faster interfaces and new concepts of persistent, or non-volatile, memory in computer architectures. People need to adjust their perceptions of the required storage tiers and architectures as their content grows in size and number and as that content moves in and out of usage.
How has cloud storage impacted the industry? Do you think it will continue to change the way people think about storage?
The rise of cloud storage is changing the role of local vs. remote storage in many applications and has enabled the rise of smart phone and tablet applications. As more content is in the cloud it is easier to process that content in the cloud as well. It will be interesting to see what the eventual balance will be between the needs of individuals and organizations for data privacy and the convenience of on-line content access.
Have you seen any recent developments or technologies that could have a real impact on the industry?
They are happening all the time. Object storage and virtualization have enabled cloud storage and better data center utilization. New developments in tape provide file and even object based tape storage with tape cartridge storage capacities up to 8.6 TB native. HDD technologies such as He-filled drives, shingled magnetic recording and eventually heat-assisted magnetic recording will enable HDDs with 10's of TBs of storage. Fast non-volatile memory technologies, such as MRAM, may displace DRAM and SRAM in new computer architectures bringing persistent memory to the mainstream. And as flash memory capacity increases we will have more mobile applications and system storage options with the performance advantages flash can provide vs. HDDs and companies such as SanDisk and Samsung are leading the way in these developments. New interface technologies are pushing 20 Gbps and higher and multi-core processors are being build that can fill these pipes. Seagate just introduced a line of Kinetic HDDs that have Ethernet connections and switching on the drive that could reduce overall hardware and overhead in HDD-based storage systems. The list of developments goes on and shows no sign of slowing. There are a lot of new start ups in the storage industry and have been a steady stream of such innnovaters for decades now.
What's the biggest change you've seen in the industry?
Individual storage technology advances are important but I think the single biggest trend is the creation of greater abstraction of physical vs. virtual devices and the rise of more complex metadata. These enable the development of cloud storage and virtualization that have changed the economics of storage and combined with (eventually?) ubiquitous high speed data connectivity, could provide the means for information development, acquisition and sharing that could surpass anything that we know today.
The 2014 Storage Visions Conference is coming up in Las Vegas this January. What can attendees expect to see and discover at the conference?
At the 2014 Storage Visions Conference on January 4-6, 2014 at the Riviera Hotel Convention Center in Las Vegas, attendees will learn about the latest digital storage device and system technologies from acknowledged experts as well as how digital storage enables important and demanding applications, such as the professional media and entertainment industries. We have keynotes by SanDisk, Samsung, Sony Media Cloud and Rovi covering important developments in digital storage, the use of cloud storage for collaborative workflows and how HEVC H.265 compression will enable widespread 4K video and how this will impact future digital storage requirements. Storage Visions sessions cover developments in storage capacity, cost, speed, security, archiving, content delivery and the storage and use of content by consumers and small businesses. Attendees get a chance to visit exhibitors and sponsors showing the latest developments in digital storage, data recovery, improved storage systems, archiving and storage security. SV 2014 will be a relaxed single track event leaving time for folks to meet each other, perhaps win some valuable storage door prizes and make important connections. You never know who you might meet at the Storage Visions Conference. Storage Visions is the storage oriented partner event to the 2014 CES and is an excellent opportunity to learn about storage and its applications today and in the near future and find out why “Fast is beautiful, but Size matters.”
You've got some big names lined up for the conference…can you tell us about what they're set to talk through and discuss?
Let's talk about our keynotes, but our sessions also have some great topics and knowledgeable experts covering important topics. Dr. Kanaan Jemili, Sr. VP of Product Development at Rovi will provide an explanation of the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) technology that, due to its greater compression capability will enable reduced content delivery bandwidth and make 4K video transmission possible with current distribution channels. He will provide insights on how these developments will change digital storage across the consumer electronics value chain from semiconductos to devices. John Scaramuzzo, Sr. VP and General Manager of Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk will discuss the impact of memory-based storage on different enterprise applications including high frequency trading, virtual desktop infrastructure and big data analytics. His talk will discuss the current state of flash memory in enterprise storage as well as insights into what the industry should expect to see in the coming years as low latency solid-state storage gains broader use. Michael Abary, Sr. VP from Samsung Electronics America will discuss how flash memory is a key storage technology. Samsung introduced the first 3D flash memory that will enable high capacity flash memory storage devices that avoid the issues with ever smaller semiconduct lithography that drives 2D flash. In 2013 Samsung announced a 1 TB SSD using its high density 3D flash memory. Ben Masek, CTO of Sony Media Cloud Services will look into the use of cloud storage and computing to enable next generation video production collaborative workflows. He will examine the technical, security and business challenges and opportunities in moving a media workflow to a cloud based solution. His talk will explore the latest trends in cluod storage and how they will influence and change the way we work with media. Also we recently added an extra half day of content for conference attendees on Saturday afternoon, January 4 put on by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).
What's the best way to find out more info or sign up for the conference?
You can find out more about the 2014 Storage Visions Conference as well as register for the conference and trade show at www.storagevisions.com. We look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas this January!
Want to get a $150 discount off early registration? If so register now by visiting this link… http://sv2014.eventbrite.com/?discount=onefiftyoff573092