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Top 10 storage stories of 2023

In this 2023 review, we consider if flash will thrash disk, what the Toyota outage shows about capacity planning, how to achieve green storage, the backup and compliance risks of AI, the lowdown on DPUs, and more

Will flash kill spinning disk in the next five years? One notable storage player believes so, but plenty of voices argue there is life in the hard disk drive (HDD) yet. Meanwhile, quad-level cell (QLC) flash went mainstream with benefits in cost and capacity.

Toyota suffered an outage for 36 hours at 14 car plants. We looked at possible causes in database capacity planning. Meanwhile, rapidly rising energy costs highlighted the need for green storage, but also the obstacles to achieve it.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was a big story in 2023, so we looked at the data protection and compliance risks it potentially brings with it. And with it came the rise to prominence of the data processing unit (DPU), a hardware offload that we examined in detail.

All these stories and more form Computer Weekly’s top 10 stories on storage in 2023.

1. Pure Storage: HDDs dead by 2028 and our flash will replace it

Pure Storage says spinning disk is doomed, and only it can provide a replacement. We look at the rationale behind its bold message, and the possible impacts of such a scenario.

2. Podcast: HDDs have a long life ahead in certain workloads

Spinning disk hard drives are far from dead, and with data volumes set to explode, there are use cases that suit them well. That’s the view of Toshiba’s Rainer Kaese in this podcast.

3. Flash prices drop towards spinning disk levels in 2023

Number-crunching data on 17,000-plus drive prices shows cost of flash drives per gigabyte fell by around 10% in the past six months while hard disk drive per-gigabyte prices stood still.

4. QLC edges into mainstream, but what are its advantages?

QLC flash offers high density but has lifecycle limitations. But what does it really cost compared with triple-level cell (TLC) and multi-level cell (MLC), and how are suppliers implementing it and getting around durability issues?

5. Toyota car plant outage shows database capacity planning is vital

How could database deletes and reorganisation take out car production for 36 hours at 14 plants? We drill down into the details of database capacity planning.

6. GenAI: Data privacy, backup and compliance

We look at generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and the risks it poses to data privacy for the enterprise, implications for backup, and potentially dangerous impacts on compliance.

7. Green storage: Savings to be made, but tricky to achieve

Storage upgrades can bring energy savings. New hardware, the cloud and as-a-service procurement models all cut costs, but can need careful tweaking to get right.

8. DPU 101: What are DPUs, what do they do, and who supplies them?

We look at data processing units, the latest in a line of hardware offload devices that emerged in the era of composable infrastructure. They come as hardware and even in the cloud.

9. IT’s shift to the cloud: Veeam’s data protection report in detail

With half of servers in the cloud and most backup and nearly all disaster recovery cloud-centric, the shift to the cloud is significant – but container backup is one area that is yet to settle down.

10. Cloud egress costs: What they are and how to dodge them

We look at how cloud providers charge to move data from their cloud, including to other providers and between storage in the same cloud, and what you can do to mitigate “bill shock”.

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