Keeping pace with the onslaught of Big Data requires a revolutionary approach to storage.
To be sure, such systems will be the storage platform of choice to handle ever-growing and increasingly critical workloads such as credit card processing, stock exchange transactions, manufacturing and order processing systems. Even app stores on the web are starting to use flash-only storage.
Such attributes as improved performance, reliability, and durability make flash systems desirable today, but virtually mandatory for the future. That’s because the tsunami of Big Data shows no sign of receding. Researchers predict that the digital universe—all the digital information created around the world—will hit 8 zettabytes by 2015. That’s about all the data found in the U.S. Library of Congress times 800 million.
Today we find ourselves at a tipping point of computer storage, once again, where the challenges of computing are no longer at issue but, rather the storing and retrieving of the information they generate and share.
Through our acquisition of Texas Memory Systems last fall, we have systems that can store almost 24 terabytes of storage in a unit the size of a pizza box, and that provide access to data 100 times faster than mechanical storage. If we were to stack 42 such pizza boxes in a rack, it would provide 1 petabyte of storage, which is more storage than any single operational application requires.
The industry is moving rapidly in the direction of all-flash storage for operational information. Such systems will not only help organizations respond to, and exploit the challenges of Big Data today and tomorrow, but once again will change the future of computing and the possibly the world along with it.
Ambuj Goyal is general manager of IBM System Storage & Networking.