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Welcome to 2010

by Administrator on January 10, 2010

Like most of you, my 2010 experience began last Monday, January 3.  I was going to post something that day, but I was still trying to close out the books on 2009 projects.  At last those are complete, so here we go!

First, a statistic.  My fellow Americans continue to have an enormous appetite for data.  According to the latest How Much Information study, conducted this time, at UC San Diego, “U.S. households consumed approximately 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008… corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day.”  The entire report is downloadable here.

I am waiting for some silly analyst house to start quoting this number to mean data growth within corporate organizations.  For the record, the number excludes data consumed by corporations.  We are talking kids, YouTube, Twitter, Google, Games (online and offline), digital media, etc.  Still the numbers are impressive.  We are cultivating a culture of data consumption in our home lives and the lives of our children that will likely travel with them into their working lives.  Moreover, since most of this data appears transient — or “dark” in the words of the study — we are not cultivating any sort of appreciation in the users of what is required to store, protect, or even to transport all of the bits.  This too will likely bleed over into the business world, assuming it hasn’t already.

Next, another statistic.  Mergers and acqusitions in the storage industry were significantly down in 2009:  43, compared to 69 in 2008 or 104 in 2006.  Moreover, most of the acquistions that did happen were in the storage software space, not in the hardware space.  A great article on this is available at Storage Newsletter.  What does this mean?  Is hardware now officially a commodity play and software the only real differentiator of any note?  I wonder.

Meanwhile, DataCore Software established what I think is a record at the end of 2009, creating a PB-sized virtual disk.  That’s almost big enough to store all of your purloined movie and music files from last year.

Finally, I will mention in hit and run fashion that I have been pissed off since reading a blog by Stephen Foskett last September — obviously stewing for some time.  Read his view here.  Basically, he argues that cloud storage is too new to require standards (though he tips his hat to Web Services REST in his third bullet).  Stephen, all I can say is that we went down this line of thinking in the past — with railroads and track widths.  Everyone wanted to have his own proprietary standard (see I am one of those FUD peddlers you describe) requiring a significant investment in machines to lift cars off of one set of wheels and place them on another to go between different tracks from different vendors if you wanted to go any distance.  Had there been track standards to begin with, a lot of extra cost could have been avoided — cost that diminished the revenue potential of rails despite their corporate mavens’ self-interest in keeping things proprietary.  In 2010, expect me to continue ranting about the lack of standards in clouds and how important they are to moving what is essentially a marketing concept with a limited shelf life into a mainstream technology service.

So, the New Decade has arrived and I am sharpening my knives to re-engage in the battles of marketecture versus architecture.  I hope I will provide something here that will stimulate the interest of my readers.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

sfoskett January 12, 2010 at 12:42 am

Awww, Jon, I’d never say you were a FUD peddler – I’d definitely put you in the “well-intentioned” category.

The FUD peddlers are the ones trying to use a call for standards as a way to hold back innovation by others to either catch up or cut off the innovators at the knees.

And this ain’t a railroad: software makes lots of things both possible and simple. Check out Zend’s Simple Cloud API. It’s a free, open, cross-platform cloud storage API. Kind of like if those railroad lifts you mention were free and plentiful. Now there’s innovation I can believe in!

We’ll have standards eventually. Let’s just let the innovation continue a bit first…

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