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Data Storage Technologies of the Future

It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that many organizations and risk-averse business executives were resistant to accepting the cloud as a trustworthy data storage solution. Now, it’s almost a given that just about any business you pick out of a phone book, assuming you still have one of them lying around, uses cloud storage.

While the cloud has been adopted by businesses of all sizes, it’s not the pinnacle of data storage solutions. If you consider what’s coming in the months and years ahead, you’ll quickly realize the cloud is merely a new starting point for data storage technologies, just like floppy disks, zip drives and even USB sticks once were.

Advancements to Watch

People outside of the industry may think data storage technologies are pretty stagnant until the next big solution is unveiled, but they aren’t. Innovative thinkers are constantly trying to develop better storage solutions. Whether they’re trying to make them smaller, more affordable, more capable or they have another goal in mind, many clever, forward-thinking people labor tirelessly behind the scenes to push data storage technologies forward every day.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of these researchers and inventors, there’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to advancements in data storage technologies. Here are a few of the innovations you should keep an eye out for in the months and years to come:


As you probably remember from biology class, DNA contains information about living things. More accurately, it codes vital information about everything the makes a living organism what it is.

The potential that DNA has for future data solutions is huge and researchers are already studying how DNA can be applied to data storage. Just four grams of DNA can store a year’s worth of data generated by every single person in the world. While DNA storage capacity speaks for itself, the fact that DNA doesn’t degrade as time passes is another reason why it’s a viable choice for data storage in the future.

While using DNA to store data may seem like the stuff of science fiction movies set decades or even centuries in the future, the technology might not be that far off from practical applications. In 2012, Harvard researchers successfully encoded DNA with information that included images, a JavaScript program and a book that consisted of more than 53,000 words.

While using DNA for storage is cost prohibitive at this time, you may end up using it as an external hard drive sooner than you think.

Helium Drives

A typical hard drive is filled with air. Air resists the spinning of the disks inside of today’s hard drives, which causes them to generate heat. Researchers are now using helium instead of air in hard drives. Helium offers less resistance than air, which makes hard drives run at a lower temperature, use less power and enables them to accommodate more disks.

The potential of helium drives is huge, but the technology comes at a price that makes them too expensive for many businesses. As time passes, it’s likely that helium hard drives will become more affordable. It’s also likely that their already impressive capacity to store a nearly endless amount of data will expand even more.

Shingled Magnetic Recording

Also referred to as SMR, shingled magnetic recording is a new data storage technology. Similar to helium hard drives, this kind of technology provides greater storage on hard drives than conventional technology can support.

The first SMR hard drive was rolled out in 2014. This product increased hard drive density by an impressive 25 percent. With a cost of just three cents per GB, SMR is an affordable technology that is a smart choice for backing up data and archiving information. This technology’s shortfall, if you can call it that, shows through in its performance, however. That’s because an SMR drive currently has a spindle speed of only 5,900 rpm.

As data storage specialists, we’re always quick to adopt new data storage technology. We look forward to adding future storage technologies to our menu of data storage solutions as they become available in the future.

To find a data storage solution for your business, we invite you to tell us more about your storage needs by filling out our storage checklist. For help finding the data storage solution that’s ideal for your organization, contact SANDirect today.

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