Western Digital’s top 5 data and tech trends of 2023
In the era of the zettabyte, the processing and storage capacities required by the dizzying data boom, not to mention the growing demand for energy, have become real challenges for companies, both from a technological and an ecological point of view. Western Digital sees 5 big tech trends set to mark the year 2023 as top topics for businesses. Here they are, as stated by Manfred Berger, Senior Manager responsible for business development at Western Digital, usable for a forum related to the forecasts for 2023.
Trend n°1: sustainability, engine of innovation
Data volumes and the use of modern technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) are growing. A phenomenon that leads to an increase in electricity consumption within data centers. In a recent study, the German industrial consortium Bitkom indicates that it expects an annual increase in this demand of the order of 3.5-5% by 2030. For Western Digital, sustainability and technology go hand in hand and have become essential factors for the innovation . Storage solutions are a key parameter for energy consumption in data centers. Modern technologies that are economical both in terms of energy consumption and cost, will therefore be in great demand. An example of this is helium-based hard drives.
Helium is an internal gas that is hermetically sealed in the hard drive enclosure, instead of air which has seven times the density. This gain helps reduce the flow effects that occur as the drives rotate in the case, as well as the amount of power required for this process. This allows you to fit more thinner discs into the case, resulting in a higher capacity solution for the same format. Helium-based hard drives have other advantages: They are less prone to overheating than air-filled hard drives, thus requiring less ventilation in data centers. This reduces power consumption and improves disk reliability.
Trend n°2: the metaverse and the digital twin
The metaverse provides a bridge between the real and virtual worlds. Therefore, this year is expected to meet another flagship technology namely the digital twin which can be used to create digital models of physical or logical objects ranging from simple resources and products to complex environments such as power grids, warehouses or factories .
Thanks to the data collected by connected objects (IoT) sensors, it becomes possible to create even more realistic digital twins, for example for a factory. Companies will thus be able to immerse themselves in this environment using, for example, virtual reality (VR) viewers. Which facilitate the knowledge and acquire a more in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing processes, without having to physically access them. This will make it possible in particular to improve the development or design of the products.
Trend no. 3: Long-term data storage
In the face of the sustained growth in the volumes of data generated, cold storage is gaining importance. This is the long-term storage of data that is not used as soon as it is produced and only processed when needed. These include unstructured information such as CCTV recordings and sensor data or images, which have immense potential for future applications in artificial intelligence or analytics. Cold storage is an inexpensive and increasingly popular approach to archiving data. By 2025, nearly 80% of digital data could be held in archives.
Trend no. 4: DNA preservation
New solutions and innovations are needed to be able to archive digital data for periods longer than 100 years. Memorization on DNA, more precisely on the molecular structure of DNA, is particularly promising. If it sounds like science fiction, implementing this technology is perfectly possible today and could even revolutionize the future of data storage. Using DNA molecules to transport data has great advantages: very high storage density and low maintenance costs. Currently still in the development stage, the great advances in genetic engineering and sequencing in recent years, as well as the declining cost of DNA synthesis, could rapidly favor the arrival of DNA archiving on the market.
Trend no. 5: A smart storage strategy
Data archiving has become a critical challenge for companies, also due to the irreversible explosion of volumes generated. Technologies such as IoT, 5G and AI are also well established in the market, generating data within data centres, network edges and end devices, for video surveillance in smart cities, retail or crime prevention purposes. Due to the diversity of application areas, storage requirements vary greatly. The formats also differ greatly, depending on whether it is a surveillance camera, a drone or a factory robot. To be successful, companies will therefore need to adopt a more judicious strategy by aligning their data storage architecture with their future needs.
Companies must be ready for 2023
No matter how fast these trends advance in the coming year, the key business action will be to adapt existing data infrastructure for tomorrow’s needs. The idea is to become a data-driven organization, which will unleash their full potential. On the eve of 2023, companies must put data at the heart of their strategy and their business, whatever their field of specialization.