Disk drives had a big year in 2013, with both cloud and on-premises operators investing in infrastructure that could help them handle surging data volumes and increasingly complex application workloads. Technologies such as shingled magnetic recording made it possible to create multi-terabyte HDDs and Seagate unveiled Kinetic Open Storage, a solution that leveraged Ethernet drives for scale-out architectures.

Going into 2014, the relationship between cloud storage, disks and other appliances is still evolving. Data centers need more efficient solutions for handling bulk storage, and small and midsize businesses require reliable tools for managing NAS appliances. Writing for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett examined how SMBs were right at this intersection of the cloud and local storage, making them a key demographic for vendors such as Egnyte, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner that recently teamed up with Synology on a software-based storage solution.

“An ‘at home’ presence for data storage and backup is facilitated by an application that runs directly on the SMB’s in-house NAS, and not solely on a virtual NAS appliance that accesses a cloud-based data backup,” explained Shacklett. “This gives the SMB the ability to backup and manage data both locally and in the cloud. It also provides greater redundancy for overall data backup and management.”

The SMB requirement for efficient management across cloud and local environments highlights how organizations increasingly need storage that is scalable and easy to manage. The Register’s Chris Mellor looked at the variety of other products that have targeted the enterprise space, stating that 2014 could be a pivotal year for technologies such as shingled magnetic recording and helium-filled drives. For example, SMR drives have been key components of long-term archiving and cold storage projects and could soon enter the mainstream.

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