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Seagate moving to explore huge AI-driven storage biz in Asia Pacific
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/5/30 17:12:14

AI-driven demand for data storage capacity expansion will grow much faster than expected amid ever-advancing AI technologies and applications, as data volume generated by AI technologies and applications is estimated to skyrocket by 50-folds from the current level to 5.2ZB by 2025. This is prompting Seagate Technology, a US-based data storage solutions provider, to step up deployments to tap ensuing tremendous business potentials, particularly in the Asia-Pacific market, with advanced data storage solutions, according to Banseng Teh, the firm's senior vice president of global sales and sales operations.

In a recent interview with Digitimes, Teh cited an IDC estimate showing aggregate global data volume is expected to expand by 10-folds from now to 163ZB by 2025, including 5.2ZB generated by AI and those by the development of AI, IoT, cloud, and big data technologies and applications.

Teh said industry supply chains and logistics systems see higher AI penetration than other sectors. But as enterprises are increasingly applying AI for real-time image analysis and data transmission associated with their security monitoring systems, demand is picking up for storage solutions with higher capacities, efficiency and performance.

Enterprises in different countries in the Asia-Pacific area show different ratios for AI adoption, Teh said, but over 90% of enterprises surveyed by Seagate are found keenly interested in investing in AI deployments, with some even seeking to incorporate AI into IT system management and R&D operations beyond existing supply chains and logistics fields.

Three major challenges

Nevertheless, Teh pointed to three major challenges for enterprises in incorporating AI technologies. First, most enterprises lack clear strategies for AI incorporation and even their decision makers have little idea about the direction for AI development, with such businesses commanding a high percentage of at least 80% in Taiwan, for instance.

Second is the incomplete hardware architectures needed to support AI development. Most enterprises are short of large data storage space and analytical tools needed to deal with the rapidly expanding data seen following AI incorporation.

Third is the lack of talent needed to analyze and manage the data generated by AI applications. In the Taiwan market alone, 89% of the enterprises polled opine that they have difficulties seeking professional AI talent at the moment.

Bright prospects

But Teh is optimistic about the AI application prospects in the Asia Pacific region, saying that bolstered by continued macroeconomic growth, abundant talent and high-density populations, enterprises in the region can benefit more than those in other regions if they can move to embrace AI and build related infrastructures and ecosystems to facilitate real-time data analysis and processing.

Statistics show that up to 96% of senior IT engineers polled share the view that AI can help boost both production and sales performances. Accordingly, Teh believes that Segate can leverage its long-term advantage in the data storage and security fields to bring better products and solutions for businesses in Asia Pacific and other markets.

Actively developing heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology crucial for the development of next-generation HDDs, Segate has rolled out HAMR-based HDDs with unit capacity of 14TB. The company will keep upgrading unit capacities of its HDDs to meet the demand of enterprises, as their demand for HDDs is expected to surge even more than an estimated CAGR of 30-40% in demand for SSDs in the next five years, according to Teh.

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