EMC’s improved portfolio is the ‘death knell’ for disk storage

Storage

by Duncan MacRae| 09 July 2014

And we’re heading towards the 10th anniversary of tape’s demise, says EMC.

EMC's EMEA president declared disk storage officially dead this week, after the company announced a range of improvements to its flash storage offerings.

One of the announcements was that of XtremIO 3.0, offering a multitude of new features and configurations, ecosystem integrations, and business programmes for EMC XtremIO all-flash arrays. Collectively, EMC believes these will offer more scale, more capabilities, and more support for consolidated, virtualised, and performance-hungry workloads.

Adrian McDonald, president of EMEA, EMC, said: "This was the death knell of disk storage. Tape storage officially died five to eight years ago but there's a very long tail, so there are many customers that don't have any tape and don't backup to tape anymore. They backup to disk and they have technologies that help them overcome any issues of not having tape, but then there are some customers that still have automated tape for a variety of reasons."

Disk sales, two years ago, were at their peak, according to McDonald. "Then these sales figures dropped," he said. "A year ago they dropped again and I would suggest they'll drop further this year."

McDonald predicts that the 'long tail' will see tape storage stagger on until 2020, while disk will be lucky to make it to 2025-2030.

"We're moving very quickly to flash," he explained. "Most of my customers either want flash for their top tier of performance or they want it fully integrated with instantaneous response. And some customers now say they want all flash - no flash, no disk - depending on their needs. And the costs are coming down incredibly quickly. Today we can put 0.6PB in a standard rack and that will be multiple PB very soon.

"We'll still sell a lot of disks and they'll be bigger in capacity than before but, economically, it doesn't make sense."

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