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Spectra Logic Published 2021 Storage Outlook Report

Explores how world manages, accesses, uses and preserves expanding data repositories.

Spectra Logic Corp. announced the publication of its annual Storage Outlook report, which explores how the world manages, accesses, uses and preserves its expanding data repositories.

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The sixth edition of the report predicts the storage strategies, architectures and technologies that will enable the protection, management and preservation of historical, current and future data for gens to come.

The report provides forecasts for several storage technologies, including flash, magnetic disk, tape, hybrid cloud, persistent memory and optical, along with a view into future technologies.

The pandemic has made predicting the future an uncertain task, but even so, it is vital that storage technology manufacturers and users of data alike have access to insights to help them anticipate future technologies, applications, use cases and costs, as accurate planning today is critical to achieving success tomorrow,” said David Trachy, senior director, emerging markets.

Highlights from 2021 Storage Outlook Report:

  • Flash: Flash vendors will increasingly rely on the string-stacking technique, where multi-layer flash dies are connected together to create a flash chip with more layers. This may result in fewer cost decreases in flash. System and cloud providers will take advantage of the zone-based interface (enabling the physical placement of data into zones matching the performance needs of the data) to get longer life, better performance and greater capacity out of their flash assets.

  • Disk: The 2 predominant industry leaders in disk are taking different strategies in moving to higher capacity drives, with one entirely focused on HAMR (as the entire future roadmap of disk is dependent upon it), and the other focused on a more incremental approach, utilizing eMAMR, MAMR and HAMR. SMR (shingled magnetic recording) versions of these drives will further improve capacity by 20% making them attractive to system and cloud providers.

  • Tape: LTO-9 tape will be shipping later this year with a capacity point of 18TB per cartridge, a 50% capacity increase over LTO-8. A new standard interface has emerged that, when supported by tape system suppliers, would expand the number of applications that could utilize tape.

  • Hybrid perpetual storage: The onset of new hybrid storage systems will allow for utilizing either cloud and/or on-premise processing capabilities, while providing for the long-term retention of the raw and refined data of that processing, independent of where that processing occurs.

  • Persistent memory: Persistent memory based on 3D XPoint technology, now readily available for purchase in a variety of capacities, has the potential to be highly disruptive to the DRAM marketplace.


The company continues to envision a logical tier-2 architecture comprised of multiple storage types, with the primary tier’s storage requirements satisfied through SSD storage technologies, and the secondary storage tier fulfilled by magnetic disk, tape and cloud deployed as object storage, either on-premise or in the cloud.

With conditions taking place over the past year due to Covid-19, presenting new risks and exposing companies to vulnerabilities as a result of having to adjust to becoming almost totally virtual overnight, this latest edition of the firm‘s report highlights the importance of embodying a resilient ‘dare-to-dare’ attitude, encouraging organizations to plan ahead, pivot fast and innovate anew, despite challenges that may be ahead on their technology journey.

Download full 2021 Storage Outlook report (registration required)

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