Connect with us
black and silver hard disk drive

Africa News

How storage trends are changing in Africa

Consumers are being pushed to faster SSD storage for a better user experience while being urged to make use of cloud hard drive storage for bigger files. Western Digital’s Ghassan Azzi speaks to BONGANI SITHOLE about this shift in Africa.

The storage landscape is changing, as hard drives get larger and solid state drives (SSDs) become more affordable. While many quote the global figures, we asked Ghassan Azzi, Western Digital’s sales director for Africa, for his perspective on Africa.

With SSD storage becoming increasingly popular in the consumer segment, one has to ask: which factors are pushing consumers toward this storage medium?

“We’re seeing a storage shift happening on the consumer level: laptops, notebooks, and tablet PCs,” says Azzi. “95%, if not nearly 100%, are coming with SSDs today, from big OEMs like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. Even in this, we’re seeing NVMe taking over all SATA. SATA is big, but NVMe has grown significantly. Microsoft recently released the statement that they will not provide [Windows] licences to laptops with a hard drive because it’s slowing down their operating system. They need an SSD and this technology can provide the speed needed for a good consumer experience. This is where Western Digital is coming in on the consumer segment.”

The enterprise sector, however, is not yet ready to move to SSD infrastructure. 

“No one can scale as quickly in the SSD market as fast as the hard drive business,” says Azzi. “We’re launching a 26 terabyte hard drive, and no manufacturer has a single SSD in that capacity today. We can’t scale that demand yet. If you look at data centres working on enterprise hard drives today, there aren’t enough SSDs in the world that can store the billions of zillions of data stored today.

“We have already started to ship our 22TB hard drive. The launch of our 26TB hard drive is going to come soon in August, which tells you how we are growing in capacities and endurance. This is how we will keep working with technology and customers are gonna stream and collect data exponentially more than they are doing today. They’re going to be more than enabled with technology and, therefore, be more connected. They will have many of their devices connected to something and they will have to access some sort of data storage. Imagine automotive: that’s an immense, huge amount of data that they will require per second.”

Looking specifically at the African continent, Azzi says there’s a big opportunity for legacy system upgrades.

“The continent is very promising in terms of IT enterprise infrastructure. Across the content, it’s very young, from what we’ve seen in our experience. We’ve visited a lot of countries in Africa, like Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya – the developed countries where there are big infrastructures. The infrastructure that is there is a bit old. For the coming five years, when the countries’ economies recover or if there is an economy that is strong already, I believe those governments and private sectors are going to spend a lot on infrastructure upgrades. We are going to be ready for them with our team on the floor and our distribution structure to fit into that. 

“I’m talking on all levels. From IT infrastructure to storage, archiving, production, security, surveillance, all over. With technology moving forward, the requirement of putting a new IT infrastructure in place is going to be extremely important for any country to grow.”

Subscribe to our free newsletter
To Top