Storage Demands Double by 2016: Flash Memory to the Rescue?
Within five years, storage demands for the media and entertainment industries are slated to double—and flash memory will likely emerge as a key player, according to studies by leading data storage consulting firm, Coughlin Associates. Flash memory, the force behind our USB drives and solid-state drives, is expected to be a go-to solution for a few reasons.
First, the entertainment world is faced with the reality that so much content still needs to be converted from analog formats (like film) to digital. According to the study, this amount of content poised for conversion is 61 Exabytes. To put that into perspective, 5 Exabytes of data translate to all the words ever spoken by mankind. As a result of this mind boggling capacity, the study stresses the fact that measures need to be taken to streamline this conversion process. While magnetic tape handles archival sizes, the capturing of content through cameras and editing software will rely on flash memory. In this role, storage will also likely complement archival needs and support content in applications where tape is harder to come by.
Second, creative professionals in the media and entertainment industry need high performance flash drives and USB hard drives to handle the transfer and storage of HD and 3D content. The data storage study forecasts the revenue for these storage devices to increase from $485 million to $760 million. What’s more is research suggests that flash memory and hard drives as a storage format will grow while the dominance of tape and optical media will start to shrink.
Additionally, storage experts like Coughlin predict flash drives will pair up with HDD to bridge performance gaps while still maintaining a reasonable cost for the consumer compared to SSD media. This storage combination for laptops and PCs—with its ability for extra caching and greater energy efficiency—could provide just the right boost needed to effectively handle the exponential amount of digital content the industry will use over the next five years.
What are your own predictions for your custom USB flash drives and hard drives? How do you think their role will change as a storage medium in the next five years? Weigh in below!