Global technology giant Amazon has just achieved its 25-year milestone. Since its inception as an on-line book-store in July 1994, it has evolved to become much more than an e-tailer and internet market place. For example, Amazon now operates the world’s largest public cloud service, with a 41.5 per cent market share and over one million active users in 190 countries.
Forecast to be worth US$236 bn by 2020, the public cloud computing market is big business as more and more organisations – especially tech businesses – harness the flexibility, reliability and economies of scale it can offer.
Instead of investing upfront in IT infrastructure, a company can access sophisticated technologies and services via the cloud on a ‘pay as you go basis’, lowering operating costs and supporting innovation.
Cloud-based data storage and management services are run from data centres that pool together a large number of servers to provide the capacity and applications needed to meet user demand. A server – like most computers – uses hard disk drives (HDDs) to store data.
Platinum plays a vital role in the magnetic media alloy used in modern HDDs. Its inclusion in their ultra-thin magnetic storage layer improves thermal and magnetic stability, enabling higher density storage.
Modern HDDs could not exist without platinum and it will continue in the same crucial role in upcoming, next-generation technologies.
Data proliferation driving demand
Our undiminished demand for technology in the form of digital applications, connected devices and the nascent ‘internet of things’ continues to drive data growth, which is itself a further factor behind the growth in cloud computing and data storage solutions.
By 2020, the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes – the equivalent of 40 times more than the number of stars there are in the observable universe.
The outlook for platinum demand in HDDs is set to remain positive due to the growth in the number and size of disks in the average hard disk, as well as benefiting from ongoing demand for cloud computing and storage driven by data proliferation and business trends.