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It seems pretty clear that storage systems will hit exascale a few years before compute infrastructure does, and there are two reasons for that. First, the amount of storage that organizations require is growing at a much faster pace than the compute that chews on that data, and not just because media is getting richer but because we are saving more types of data in the hopes of extracting insight from it. Second, applications are much harder to parallelize and scale than is a sophisticated parallel storage system. Storage will therefore not only hit exascale first because we need it to, but because it can.

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