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How Western Digital is manoeuvring data for greater advantage

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Data is not only growing, it’s changing. Big data is evolving to ‘Fast Data’ and a new data lifecycle is propagating new applications and technologies. This era now is all about Fast Data; managing it, analysing it and leveraging its value in real-time.

“Fast Data allows unstructured data to be stored as it doesn’t impose a format and keeps as much of the raw data as possible. Furthermore, there are numerous smartphones, computers and other machines – millions of new sensors being fired, adding to the never-ending stream of data. This makes the data lifecycles longer and longer as a large amount of unstructured data is aggregated into large data lakes to enable analytics,” says Siva Sivaram, Executive Vice President, Western Digital (WD).

Technology innovation

WD creates environments for data to thrive. “We drive innovation that is needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Today, about 45 per cent of world’s data sits with us which we manage end-to-end. WD is the only company that spans the entire gamut of storage, from solid state to rotating media, and hence we take the initiative to drive future innovations that deliver the infinite possibilities of data,” says Sivaram.

The company manages data analytics across various geographic locations to deliver better data protection and create a more real-time environment for security and cybersecurity management.

“Additionally, our portfolio has both HDD and Flash technologies, devices, building blocks for software-defined storage and full-featured systems, which allows customers to solve their data challenges and lead their journey to next generation infrastructure. Moreover, the fresh architectural approach based on open standards using NVMe-over-Fabric creates flexible building blocks of storage, compute and networking resources to improve utilisation, performance, and agility in the data centre. WD is investing heavily in hardware and software technologies to accelerate innovations in flash data management, hybrid cloud capabilities, data mobility, open composability, predictive data analytics, and cloud-based management,” he adds.

Smart cities and surveillance paving way for storage security

The storage security market has seen an increase in growth in the recent past. Data is pouring in at rapid rates from numerous IoT devices where security videos are used for maintaining safety and improving infrastructure.

“It is not enough to just keep storing data for a person to verify manually, the analysis must be automated. For instance, data should be able to detect a face from a crowd of 50 people or sensors on traffic signals should be able to modulate the space between traffic lights depending on the traffic. WD enables this data to be smart through data analytics which can be performed either close to the source, at the edge, or centrally in a data centre or the cloud. Additionally, our surveillance optimised drives are designed for systems that are always on, recording 24x7x365. Smart cities are a big growth area for WD, we play a large role in maintaining public safety, improving infrastructure, driving in part the emergence and growth of smart cities,” informs  Sivaram.

Role of localisation in the growth of the Indian data centre industry

For India specifically, data localisation is allowing data sovereignty and it will be one of the various other reasons for growth of data centres. “India has the fastest growing digital population who are active mobile data users, and the number of connected devices is also increasing which generates large amount of unstructured data,” he says.

There is an exponential growth in diversity of content, transactions, feeds and sources that is going far beyond traditional firewalls. “In fact, much of the data companies have access to, they didn’t create it themselves; it was created by devices outside their firewalls, by an application or a customer. The advantage of this growing diversity of data is that it’s enabling businesses make smarter decisions. Most importantly, to find the real value of data, organisations will have to find ways to transfer skills and provide access to data so that more stakeholders can initiate data-driven use cases,” he adds.

WD’s strategy to stay relevant in the cloud domain

“WD understands the relationship between cloud, core, and edge workloads and hence we are constantly building on our storage products to deliver the future of data infrastructure. Our hybrid cloud strategy has helped us leverage the extreme scale, power and agility of cloud-based HPC to constantly push the limits of physics and engineering, and we bring this know-how and expertise back to our customers. Our brand HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), leverages cloud elasticity frequently. WD’s latest hybrid cloud software offerings have many or all the public cloud’s APIs including object storage, block storage, traffic balancing, authentication, etc. for enterprise cloud bursts,” sums up Sivaram.


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