As the datasphere grows, data storage solutions struggle to keep pace. Experts are looking for ways to tackle this global data storage crisis.
The datasphere, defined by the Datasphere Initiative as the complex system encompassing all types of data and their dynamic interactions with human groups and norms is expected to grow by 300% in the next three years, said scientists at Aston University. Aston experts working to find new data storage solutions assure that the situation has reached a global crisis level. There is too much information and there are many storage challenges.
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To counter this looming data storage problem, Aston University has received funding to research new data storage solutions. Here we cover some of the challenges they are trying to mitigate and the solutions they are creating for the growing need for big data storage.
The datasphere: challenges and opportunities
“Simply building new data centers without improving data storage technologies is not a viable solution,” said Matt Derry, a chemistry teacher in the university’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “The next three years will be crucial. The global datasphere is expected to increase to 175 zettabytes, with one zettabyte roughly equaling one billion terabytes.”
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Data storage concerns include on-site and digital security, data loss, strained budgets, downtime, limited storage resources, lack of scalability, physical and environmental damage, and energy consumption. Few data storage solutions are currently able to balance the budget, capacity, and other functional requirements that enterprises face today.
How Aston University experts are transforming data storage
Derry and other experts at Aston University have launched a research program to develop a new technology that provides data storage surfaces with channels less than five nanometers wide – about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The new format and structure is expected to increase the capacity of data storage devices to handle the amount of data the world produces each day.
Derry will work closely with Amit Kumar Sarkar, a materials chemistry researcher funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
“We will use advanced polymer chemistry as a way to increase the amount of data that can be stored on storage media,” Sarkar said. “Increasing the efficiency of existing technologies will significantly reduce the need for costly, environmentally damaging construction of new ‘mega data centers’.”
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While Derry has not disclosed whether the new system will be optical or magnetic, experimental devices have already created hybrid systems; polymer chemistry is fundamental to both types of devices. Polymer chemistry can increase surface areas by creating new layers, enabling systems to achieve higher levels of data density.
The data storage market and trends
The Market size and forecast for digital storage devices A report from Verified Market Research shows that the industry, valued at $3.4 billion in 2021, is expected to reach $9.8 billion by 2030.
Digital storage devices include all media used to store and exchange data. They are a critical part of any computer system. Digital storage devices in this market include hard drives, solid state drives, memory cards, floppy disks, optical disc drives such as CDs and DVDs, and USB flash drives.
Industrial sectors such as finance and banking, healthcare and genetics, and information technology and manufacturing are among the fastest growing users of data storage, especially as these industries push new boundaries. Vendors in the cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, supercomputing, business intelligence analytics, Internet of Things and industrial IoT, and 5G technologies are also driving the industry.
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Leading the market, Western DigitalTranscend Information, Toshiba, Teradata Corporation, Sony, Samsung, Intel, SanDisk and Lenovo all invest heavily in research and development for new data storage solutions.
A growing need for advanced data management and security in storage systems
Despite the amount of research that goes into developing data storage products, the Datasphere Initiative says it will take more than new products to solve and manage the global data crisis. That explains the organization policy, governance, compliance and regulation are essential for the new data era.
In addition, new data technologies will inevitably need to be resilient in terms of data security. The complex global environment of cyber threats, increasing data and privacy regulations, and consumers demanding that companies and organizations manage data professionally and ethically are all important factors that cannot be ignored by the data storage industry.
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