Interview: David Chua of HGST on company’s plans for 2015

HGST, a provider of storage solutions, is set to address the tiered storage needs in datacenter in 2015. In 2014, the company announced new strategy based on today’s evolving data driven economy and launched a new spectrum of devices, software and solutions for enterprise customers.  With data becoming the currency of the new economy, ability to extract value from data is the ultimate competitive edge for any business, said David Chua, director of Distribution Business, Asia Pacific South, HGST, in an exclusive interaction with Infotech Lead. Businesses that use data-driven decision making methods are 5 percent more productive and 6 percent more profitable than those that don’t, he added.

In today’s context, the capability to extract value from data through its transformation to information, knowledge and wisdom is the ultimate competitive weapon for businesses. Also, the rate at which data is being created is doubling every two years.  In 2014, 17MB is being created every minute for each person on Earth.

HGST is committed to leverage their expertise in HDD/SSD storage innovation, together with tighter integration with advanced software, to bring unmatched capacity and value to the market in 2015, Chua said.

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Commenting on the trends in 2014, Chua said that Flash is transforming the data center with better application and database acceleration.

Active Archive is another transformative change in storage. Tape does not provide the necessary active access, and traditional disk-based storage is not cost effective enough. With Active Archive, archive is no longer “write once and likely read never.” As a new category of storage optimized for greenfield data growth, Active Archive serves the valuable portion of newly created data that otherwise could not be practically stored with classic technologies.

Open Source has become the preferred choice of today’s data center, added Chua. Across the entire stack, pen source operating systems, middleware, application frameworks, and databases are now standards in enterprise and Web infrastructure. In fact, the open source model has so completely and fundamentally transformed the infrastructure tier in the data center that not many proprietary infrastructure software technologies have a sustainable advantage any longer.  Using open source platforms has irreversibly changed data center architectures, but using an open source does not preclude organizations from working with commercial vendors that make open technologies easier to consume.

Big Data and Analytics is another major trend in storage industry in 2014. To address the market needs, HGST offers high capacity storage solutions like He8 and Active Archive Platforms that helps efficiently store large volumes of content as well as performance platforms like FlashMAX to aide in the analytics processing side of the equation. Solutions like HGST Virident Space allow offloading production data seamlessly using clustered volumes for processing on a separate analytics server farm.

In 2014, HGST expanded its product portfolio both organically and inorganically. The company expanded partnership with Intel to use Intel NAND Flash technology and enriched HGST’s portfolio of HDDs, SSDs, software and solutions that help data center managers build tomorrow’s IT infrastructures, Chua said.

The company’s acquisitions of Virident and sTec have also brought HGST’s strategy to the next level in 2014.  The acquisition of Virident addressed the rapidly changing needs of enterprise customers by delivering intelligent storage solutions that maximize application performance by leveraging the tightly coupled server, storage and network resources of converged data center infrastructures. As for the integration of sTec, an early innovator in enterprise SSDs, into HGST, this has set the stage for HGST to grow solid-state storage capabilities, HGST official said.

HGST has introduced a series of new products in Indian market, including a data center-class 10TB HDD for cloud and cold storage applications, offering the lowest $/TB and watt/TB by harnessing two complementary technologies: HelioSeal technology and Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR).

Another product, Ultrastar 7K6000, is HGST’s seventh generation air-based platform, which targets all traditional and rapidly growing scale out storage applications, including object, block and file storage architectures.

The 8TB Ultrastar He8, HGST’s second-generation helium-filled HDD, delivers technology and innovation that advances the TCO value proposition for cloud data centers, enterprises, OEMs and system integrators.

The Ultrastar He8 enables more efficient data center designs and operations by reducing the physical and carbon footprint of the overall storage systems. Addressing the largest data center challenges, the sealed, helium-filled hard drives enable lower power consumption and higher density storage systems, requiring less rack space. Additionally, the helium-sealed hard drives require less cooling and can be used more reliably in wider operating environments such as ambient data centers.

The drives are currently being qualified by leading companies such as Netflix, Huawei, Inspur and Promise as well as other top OEMs and cloud customers around the world, Chua said.

HGST realizes that the sheer volume, velocity and variety of data is transforming the IT landscape and supporting ecosystem. It is expanding the role of applications, evolving the way storage and technologies are being deployed, and are extending the value continuum of the ecosystem as the industry moves up the stack.

“With our deep understanding of customer needs and the changing market landscape, HGST is leading the evolution of data center storage and data transformation through innovation in products, platforms and solutions that help the world harness the power of data,” Chua added.

Building on its expertise in the device space, HGST is also developing tighter integration with advanced software to lay the foundation for more intelligent, dynamic storage systems.

In 2015, the company’s focus will be enterprise IT market. With over 900 channel partners, HGST will continue to enhance its technologies and provide them with access to these products. The company also has two large distributors — Avnet and Neoteric – in India who will distribute the new products to be launched in 2015.

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]