While no shortage of articles, columns and blogs have hit the airwaves, print media and Intertubes in the wake of IBM’s excellent Edge 2012 conference, underscoring the value proposition of IBM’s active data compression technology (manifested today on products like Storwize V7000 and SAN Volume Controller), my enthusiasm remains somewhat dampened.
Yes, I contributed to the noise around the compression announcements. I moderated a webcast about the IBM compression technology story just this past Wednesday. (The customer testimonial was compelling and probative and the IBMers on the call were excellent ombudsmen for their wares, as always.) But, still, I want to be clear.
I see compression (and deduplication), at best, as tactical technologies. More precisely, I see them as weapons for fighting a delaying action in the struggle most companies face with respect to unmanaged data growth.
Ultimately, the combination of unmanaged data growth, combined with the store-everything-on-disk dogma (Omnia in Orbis) that has become so dominant in the marketecture around storage today, will lead to a predictable outcome: storage acquisition expense will soon dwarf all other IT hardware spending in contemporary data centers.
To deal with the challenge effectively and permanently, our solution must be strategic and long terml. If compression and dedupe deliver tactical advantage, it is by delaying the deployment of more disk capacity and by buying us time to do what must be done: coming up with a way to manage the glut of data that is finding its way into the data junk drawer at an accelerating rate.
Followup blogs to come…