The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for scalable and reliable storage solutions, the growing volume of data generated by businesses and individuals, and the need for efficient data access and recovery. This has resulted in the growing importance of technologies such as distributed storage algorithms, data striping, parity calculations, and network protocols. These storage solutions offer improved data reliability, performance, and scalability, making them ideal for modern data-intensive applications and environments. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in technology: distributed RAID drivesBuy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, aural exciters, in-memory computing, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RAID transmission error detection, projector-camera system, and hyperspectral imaging, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are digital image interpolation and distributed RAID drives, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Distributed RAID drives is a key innovation area in technology

Distributed RAID (redundant array of independent disks) drives encompass a data storage system that combines multiple hard disk drives across various physical locations, such as distinct servers, into a unified storage unit. This arrangement enables the distribution of data across these drives, offering enhanced redundancy and optimised performance.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of distributed RAID drives.

Key players in distributed RAID drives – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to distributed RAID drives

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Datrium 2 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 4 Unlock Company Profile
Pivot3 51 Unlock Company Profile
Rpx 6 Unlock Company Profile
DataDirect Networks 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 46 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 4 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 42 Unlock Company Profile
Compellent Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 66 Unlock Company Profile
SK Telecom 2 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 6 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 4 Unlock Company Profile
Pure Storage 765 Unlock Company Profile
Weka.IO 25 Unlock Company Profile
Spatial Digital Systems 3 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Electronics Telecommun 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Pure Storage is the leading patent filer in distributed RAID drives. One of the company’s patents describes methods used in dispersed storage network (DSN) to retrieve encoded data from an impaired storage unit. The DSN's computing device sends requests to multiple storage units, including the impaired one, to recover a minimum number of encoded data slices. If the impaired unit cannot quickly retrieve the requested data slice, it promptly issues a quasi-error response. Upon receiving less than the required number of data slices and a quasi-error response, the computing device may request slices from other units or instruct the impaired unit to continue processing the request.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include IBM and Pivot3.

By geographic reach, Pivot3 leads the pack, followed by Weka and Hitachi. In terms of application diversity, Rpx holds the top position, followed by Qualcomm and Toshiba.

Distributed RAID drives are storage systems that employ a distributed approach to data redundancy and recovery. By distributing data across multiple drives in a network, they provide fault tolerance and enhanced data protection. Distributed RAID drives ensure data reliability, fault tolerance, and efficient data access by leveraging the collective capabilities of multiple drives in different locations.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.