In today’s modern and fast-paced world, we have so much to keep track of: files, important documents, videos, contacts, bills, emails, the list goes on and on. But also in today’s modern world is the ideal of minimalism. Clutter has become a four-letter word. So, enter the conundrum. We don’t want our data anywhere around us (literally), overflowing from our file cabinets or cluttering up our desks. Yet, we still demand (and need) data to be readily available to access 24/7.
The growing need for data storage is inevitable. But that storage must be user-friendly and adequate to meet our needs in 2020. One example is AI and machine learning and analytics, which rely on a constant stream of data. You could say it is “feeding” on data all the time—every bit of data that it can get. For this reason, you can’t just archive your data and forget it—it needs to be active.
You also don’t need just all the same kind of file cabinets, right? Nowadays, the nature of storage is changing, and the new area (or era, you could say) that’s emerging is called active archiving. The easy way to think about this new way of archiving is with an example.
Say you save a silly cat video on Facebook (you know you watch them), and then next year you want to reference that same video again to show your friends, Facebook has to store that video somewhere. And they have to be able to retrieve it quickly, right when you decide that you want it. The ability to do something so seemingly simple—pulling up an old, archived memory or video clip, is actually complicated and expensive.
The Future of Storage
As we know from our friends at Folio Photonics, the total world data increased from 0.9 zettabytes to 20, and by 2025, this will actually surge to 175 zettabytes! And with the increasing utility of data and active archiving, the technology they have been developing has seen a meteoric rise to 60% of the storage market. This means that as an organization, you now have to delete an increased percentage of your archive and data just to keep up! Or you have to continually add capacity. Neither of which is a good solution.
So what is up next for storage’s future? Surprising and exciting innovations from cutting edge companies are on the rise, like Folio. They are reinventing archival storage with its modern optical storage technology. Specifically, these innovators are in the process of developing (soon to be available to the masses for all of our silly cat Facebook video storing pleasure) multi-layer photonic storage that comes with 16+ layers for terabyte-scale capacities.
Well, I say “soon,” but often, the best things take a bit of time. However, once it is officially ready to be rolled out, this new storage technology may indeed be the solution to our current archive conundrum. Imagine archival storage with complete access, extremely long shelf-life, a 100-year lifetime—and even the added sustainability factor of boasting a minimal environmental footprint and low total cost of ownership. The future of storage is coming, and I am excited and welcome the change.