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A world without NAND is like a world without a BFF


Toshiba, as a maker of NAND flash (the storage we find in the smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks, even enterprise servers and storage we know and love) embarked on a social media infused effort to pose the question, “What would you do without NAND Flash technology?”

Kudos to Toshiba for this campaign reinforcing the importance of NAND Flash based storage in our everyday lives — though it’s only half the story, or should I say 10% of the story :)

Of course we might also ask “what would you do without hard disk drive technology?” But that’s a story that has been done to death. Instead, let’s focus on why SSDs (NAND Flash) and HDDs are BFF’s.

Obviously, many people see flash storage as new, fresh, and a true enabler of innovation – Apple and Apple fanboys like myself included - and HDD storage as a necessary but unthrilling tool in this high speed world of mobility and cloud.

Now, that I won’t agree with.  Being inside of Seagate, I see all kinds of innovation happening everyday. What goes into designing a device about the size of a wallet that can store hundreds of thousands of files that costs less than what one might carry in cash in their wallet is astounding.

All Seagate fanboy boasting aside, how would I answer Toshiba’s question…”What would you do without NAND Flash technology?” It’s true, Seagate is a storage company, not just a hard drive company, and we’re making some killer advancements in flash (a story for another time). But, Seagate participating in the flash market is not the reason I’m stoked to be here. I’m stoked because of what flash is doing for storage in general.  It’s making storage more accessible. Okay, maybe one level higher here – it’s making information and content more accessible, more instantaneous. We have not experienced anything like this since the advent of the personal computer or the internet.  And, those are just blips when you compare what was being created and consumed back then to what is projected for the next decade. The fact that flash is driving demand for more and more Terabytes, Petabytes, Exabytes, Zettabytes of storage is reason enough to stick around the storage industry for me. It’s actually new, fresh, and enabling to be a marketing guy at a storage company…go figure.

What would you do without NAND Flash technology? Chime in here, and perhaps let Toshiba know too, since it’s their question :)

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