Richard Rutledge (RR): Globally there is an increased demand for bytes. There is a growing demand for magnetic bytes (conventional HDD storage), and there is a growing demand for flash bytes (SSD and flash storage). There is a declining demand for tape bytes (tape-based storage solutions), and a declining demand for optical bytes (CDs, DVDs etc.). Therefore it’s possible to have a growing market for both hard drives and flash.
RR: Set-top boxes is a fantastic business, we actually have a digital video business unit that focuses largely on MPEGbased solutions in broadcasting, set-top boxes and video surveillance, so that’s a fantastic business for us. Video is an important component of cloud-based business, and as proof of that one simply needs to look at content delivery networks (CDNs). The internet is actually very expensive, and to send a byte of data from Los Angeles to Jo’burg is very costly. They charge you basically for distance, since a network is priced just like an airliner – the longer the distance, the more expensive it is. CDNs are basically mobile caches. In the US, Netflix allows users to stream videos. The popular videos are cached within each city, so that they are close to users within each city and the least popular videos are maybe held at a central data centre. So from our business point of view, there are lots and lots and lots of copies of a video (stored within central data centres and the CDNs). When you’re streaming, most people think that there is no need for a hard drive, and that’s not at all true since there are a lot of hard drives within a CDNs and central data centres.
RR: Consumers have a lot of storage devices in their homes such as an Xbox or PS3, PCs and tablets, and maybe a settop box, so they already have their own personal cloud. Just think of the words ‘personal cloud’ as marketing, since it’s just a name to describe all of those devices and the GBs worth of data stored on these. It’s absolutely true that the first experience most people have of network-based storage is a public cloud, because you might have might a Gmail account, and because you have a Gmail account, you use Google Drive. We believe that our USB-based storage will transition to Wi-Fi-based storage and the Wi-Fi-based storage collectively will then become a user’s own personal cloud.
RR: I’ll answer your question this way. Data centres are all the same, they aim to provide more users with more services on a very tight budget. To achieve this, a data centre always adopts innovative solutions such as data deduplication. The primary driving force leading to the adoption of such innovations in the enterprise sector is efficiency. Within the consumer side, users tend to prioritise factors that include more space and faster data transfer speeds above said efficiency, since they want to store more content and not necessarily utilise the storage space they have more efficiently.