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Toshiba Leading the Charge in the Nearline Market

Recent market research reports indicate that the nearline market is heating up due to a recent surge in US-based Tier 1 hyperscale storage requirements. While 14TB demand continues to gain traction, hyperscale companies are already clamoring for higher-capacity products, such as Toshiba’s MG08 16TB Enterprise Capacity HDD. According to Kyle Yamamoto, Vice President, HDD Marketing & Business Operations, “The Nearline market is and will continue to be pivotal for the HDD industry, and within three years, Toshiba has been able to double its market share due to our solid nearline HDD strategy and product portfolio.” Despite macro-economic issues potentially impacting some nearline HDD demand, based on the latest internal calculations, the HDD market is still on pace to post nominal growth in 2019; however, exabytes shipped are projected to increase approximately 20% due to the solid rise of 12TB and 14TB HDD volumes.

Toshiba’s nearline market share grew 600 basis points from 1Q ’16 to 2Q ’19.*

“9” is the magic number

Toshiba’s design team revolutionized the nearline HDD space by moving to a 9-disk platform at 14TB (MG07 Series) before the competition. What was not clear to the customers in the beginning is much clearer now. The addition of the ninth disk allowed Toshiba’s product to reach higher HDD capacities all the while proving to be more stable and consistent - both of which are critical performance metrics for nearline HDD customers. Yamamoto states, “The consistent performance of our 9-disk nearline HDD design has set the standard for the industry and for the competition to try to follow.”

What’s next?

Leaders have to lead, and that is what Toshiba is doing. The MG08 Series, Toshiba’s second generation “9”-disk design set the industry standard at 16TB back in January, and even while MG08 is still ramping and gaining traction, Toshiba’s engineers are busy in the design labs working on follow on products. On the immediate horizon is an 18TB HDD, which will be Toshiba’s third generation 9-disk design, and it does not stop there. Higher capacity drives utilizing leading-edge technology such as MAMR (Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording) is just one example of the work that is ongoing in Toshiba’s research centers, and it is this type of dedicated effort that will enable Toshiba to develop and deliver competitive nearline solutions to keep up with skyrocketing cloud demand.

* TRENDFOCUS, Inc. subscriber data reports are published quarterly. Analysis based on data reports from 1Q2016 to 2Q2019

Definition of capacity: Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.  A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity.  Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content.  Actual formatted capacity may vary.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.

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