Monday, June 24, 2024

Will America Remain the Global Data Storage Leader?

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America has virtually undisputed leadership in storage. From filesystems to RAID controllers to disk and tape drives, the U.S. is top dog. But there’s no guarantee it will retain this status. Data storage Henry Newman looks ahead and assesses the U.S.’s prospects in the global marketplace.

Why America Leads in Data Storage

Here are the reasons I came up with:

  • Historically, most hardware development has taken place in the United States and with servers goes storage
  • Storage requirements in the United States exceed requirements elsewhere; the market is driven by requirements, and the rest of the world is behind our requirements
  • For years, the U.S. Government (e.g., National Science Foundation and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has funded universities in the United States to do basic research on storage and build filesystems
  • A combination of all of the above

Alternatively, someone could say none of the above, which I will totally disagree with, but I am open to a reasoned opinion.

Historical Developments

The United States, like it or not, has been the center of development of most servers and PCs. They might not have all been made here, but most of the development work was done here. This holds true for the mainframes from IBM, Univac, CDC and others in the 1950s through 1970s, to RISC servers in the later 1980s through today, and, of course, the PC. Each of these systems required storage systems to support the computation.

This is not to say that other areas of the world, most notably Japan, did not develop storage and technology. Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC all had computer systems during much of that period that were products of their own development. Fujitsu had a disk and tape group, and Toshiba had disk drive development and purchased the disk group from Fujitsu a few years ago. Hitachi, of course, had a disk drive group, but much of the innovation came from the purchase of IBM’s disk drive group, and Hitachi is now being integrated into Western Digital’s portfolio.

Read the rest about America’s leadership in data storage at Enterprise Storage Forum.

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