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HDD innovations fueling networking demand

By Max Burkhalter
October 4, 2011
Since the hard disk drive began to become popular in the early 1980s, the technology has been refined. Currently, users can store terabytes of data in a cost-effective manner, allowing them access to advanced computing capabilities that cannot easily be handled with less storage, according to a recent Ars Technica report.

While HDDs have been advancing and fueling innovation across the technology sector, the news source said networking advances have not followed suit. This has created an environment where the network is unable to keep up with the amount of data transmitted between servers and other devices using high-capacity hard drives.

The report explained that there is little point in being able to store large quantities of data if users are unable to take advantage of that content. For example, the ability to store large quantities of data is meaningless for businesses if their network infrastructure is unable to support the advanced data mining and analysis capabilities needed to use this information.

As a result, many businesses are facing major problems because their storage systems are at a point where they can easily store incredibly large quantities of data, but lack the network infrastructure needed to make the most of that information. Furthermore, the lack of adaptability and scalability among many providers makes it difficult for companies to make the network changes necessary to support their advanced data capabilities, the report said.

In general, the report explained, businesses have seen storage fueling innovation. However, networking systems have not followed to support these advanced capabilities. This places businesses in a difficult position because they need to develop infrastructure in such a way that their networking systems will be able to support the capabilities of their storage technology.

A recent Register report addresses this issue by pointing out that many servers now use processors and storage solutions that are far superior than most enterprise network architectures. Essentially, servers are often at least 12 times more powerful than their predecessors. Furthermore, they are handling more data and faster throughput rates. To support this, organizations need to upgrade their network infrastructure or risk experiencing major performance issues because the network cannot keep up with the data input/output rates created by high-performance processing and storage technologies.


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