The rise of the internet of things (IoT) has triggered an explosion in the global volume of data in recent years. This has spurred a radical shift in the way in which we store and process data, with consumers expecting real-time access across devices. Data storage describes the technological means by which digital data is retained and archived for use on a computer or other related device. A hallmark of the storage sector over the past decade has been the rise of cloud computing, with global spending on cloud infrastructure estimated at 178 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, up from around 130 billion the previous year. This far outstripped spending on traditional data center hardware and software, which was estimated at around 98 billion U.S. dollars for the same period.
Samsung leads the DRAM market
Primary storage, often referred to as memory, allows for the short-term storage of data. Information is retained for immediate use and is directly accessible by the central processing unit (CPU), usually until the main device is reset or turned off. The primary memory of a device is called random access memory or RAM, with the two most used forms of modern RAM being static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). The global DRAM market generated over 18 billion U.S. dollars in the third quarter of 2022, with Samsung being the largest manufacturer of DRAM in terms of revenue.
The decline of the hard disk
Secondary storage, normally in the form of hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs), records and holds data indefinitely, even when the main device is unpowered. Sales of HDDs, which utilize a physical spinning disk, have plummeted in recent years, with SSDs becoming the standard for laptops and personal computers. SSDs utilize NAND flash memory, which is a type of non-volatile storage that does not require power to retain data, and therefore offer greater speed and reliability than HDDs. The NAND flash market topped 13 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in the third quarter of 2022, with Kioxia being Samsung's largest competitor.
The rise of cloud storage
Traditionally, organizations have relied on ‘on-premises’ secondary storage to store their company data. However, organizations are increasingly favoring the use of third-party cloud solutions, allowing them to avoid the high maintenance costs of on-premises storage. Cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud, enable organizations to store data in off-site data centers. The capacity can be scaled, allowing greater flexibility for growing organizations. 80 percent of organizations responding to a 2022 survey said that they had deployed a hybrid cloud, in which a combination of on-premises and off site cloud storage is used, compared to around 50 percent in 2018.
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Research expert covering global developments in the use of data