Email could die in 10 years, Hitachi Data Systems says

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has introduced its HUS (Hitachi Unified Storage) family of products and claimed that it now offers the entire spectrum of integrated storage devices covering the largest to the smallest enterprise.

But in introducing the family, Bob Plumridge, chief technology officer of HDS in Europe, warned that several challenges faced companies, mainly because of governmental regulations.

Plumridge said: “The major storage challenges are dealing with growth, reducing costs, handling complexity and meeting service level objectives. We’re seeing the biggest growth in storage requirements and data that we’ve ever seen in our lives. Customers are buying more storage. Government rules and regulations say how much data enterprises, such as the financial sector for how long data has to be kept.

“Healthcare is another sector. The regulation in the UK now is that all personal records have to be kept for as long as people live, plus another five years. The storage used 50 years ago or even 20 years ago aren’t readable today. In thirty years time [Microsoft Office] PSTs won’t be of any use. Just saying ‘keep data’ is great for the storage industry but businesses don’t know if they’re going to need that data in the future.”

What’s the answer to these problems? Plumridge thinks that enterprises should consolidate large number of boxes down to three or four, use virtualisation to increase efficiency.

Plumridge said there’s no point storing data if companies don’t get anything out of it. He said: “Data migration always represents risk for notebooks, never mind petabytes and some companies are constantly migrating data. Data has to be stored as objects and not PSTs or Powerpoint files. Email might die out in 10 or 20 years. The industry is changing faster now than it’s ever changed before.”

The HUS family has three models – the 110, the 130, and the 150 – the last has nearly three petabytes of data. Plumridge said that storage infrastructures are now more complex than they’ve ever been, but they can be made simpler to manage through the supporting management tools and software.

Cloud storage, he said, is growing very fast in western Europe. Plumridge said HDS has the view that there are three types of cloud computing: infrastructure cloud, content cloud, and information cloud. So-called Big Data includes billions and trillions of files and objects amounting to hundreds of petabytes.

Hitachi Data Systems stack