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How “Big Storage” Breakthroughs Will Affect Industries Other Than Data Centers

By March 15, 2016Article

Unlike many other areas of technology, the storage market has largely been one of slow but steady progress. You’ve likely seen this over the past decade or so as storage sizes have grown increasingly larger. That’s why many were surprised and impressed when Samsung revealed a major leap in storage capacity – its PM1633a 16TB drive, affectionately referred to by some as the Sasquatch drive. Couple that with the promise of Intel and Micron’s 3D XPoint technology, and suddenly the storage industry becomes all the more exciting. 

The implications of using these new storage items are far-reaching, with a lot of attention being paid to what it could mean for big data analytics, data centers and converged infrastructure, in particular. While the potential in those areas will be impactful, there are other effects worth considering in other industries – a ripple effect, if you will. “Big Storage” will play a major role in businesses of all kinds and likely will affect people’s everyday lives as well. 

Impact on personal devices 

Some of these effects will be more direct. For example, these types of high-capacity, solid-state storage devices will eventually make their way to laptops and personal computers. The introduction of new technology like the Sasquatch drive serves not only to show off new capabilities but also drive the prices on existing products down significantly. 

Within a few years, laptops will likely come with 16TB drives, providing the average consumer the opportunity to store a ton of information in one easy-to-access place. (Imagine storing thousands of HD movies on your laptop.) Not only will this be incredibly convenient, but it also may lead to a decreased need to use cloud services. In instances where the cloud is used, there will still be need for high-capacity storage devices for the servers cloud providers use. And that doesn’t even touch on what Big Storage could mean for smart devices. 

Industry impact 

But that’s just the personal electronics industry. Other businesses stand to be impacted as well. Both the biotech industry and design industry could see significant advances thanks to Big Storage. Most promising of all, however, is the development of artificial intelligence. A fully functioning AI would need to store, analyze and process a ton of information. Storage limitations have greatly hampered progress in developing artificial intelligence, but these Big Storage breakthroughs could be instrumental in finally achieving the goal of realizing true AI. It almost doesn’t need to be pointed out that if and when AI becomes a reality, that could change the lives of every person. 

Many of the changes affecting industries don’t need to be as grand as artificial intelligence, though. The gaming industry, for example, could be revolutionized by bigger storage capabilities. Whole games could be loaded at once instead of simply loading level by level. Data aggregation could take place on individual gamer behaviors, leading to the creation of new games intended to cater to those actions, resulting in a more enjoyable game. Online gaming could transform as well, with smoother gameplay and faster interactions between players, no matter where they might be in the world. 

Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (IoT) likely will get a boost from the recent Big Storage breakthroughs as well. By processing big data in real time, the various devices connected to the IoT will be able to function well together while also giving various industries more insights into how customers use their products, who they are and what motivates them. Since the IoT reaches all sorts of industries, from appliance makers to apparel manufacturers, the overall impact of these storage advances will be felt in all corners of the business world. The IoT also affects how people will interact with everyday objects, again impacting their own lives in new ways. 

While the latest developments in storage technology may not make headlines like Apple’s latest gadget, they could end up having a greater effect on industries. Businesses have long understood the advantages of using high-capacity storage devices, but costs and other limitations have prevented them from embracing them. That could all change as progress is made on Big Storage. Industries of all types will see changes, with products and services improving while new ones are created. 

Rick Delgado is a technology commentator and writer. He writes for, and Follow him on Twitter.














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