I received a call a couple of days ago from a New York Times writer on deadline asking what I thought about the breakthrough in storage being hailed by some researchers at the City University of New York. They were talking about storing data in diamonds. Crappy diamonds with a lot of imperfections. But diamonds still.
HERE is the NYT article. I suppose I was a bit more curmudgeonly than usual. After all, I am working with clients who are desperately trying to find practical solutions to coping with the data deluge…and the data apocalypse that analysts place just down the road in 2020. It would be great if diamond storage, or DNA storage, or carbon nanotubes, or that tech we have been awaiting since the Kennedy administration — holographic storage — would be commercially viable in time to handle the 60 zettabytes of data we will need to find a way to store in just a couple of years. Sadly, I think all of these technologies will come too late to store all the bits and pixels.
Right now, two key ingredients for weathering the zettabyte apocalypse are tape — with Barium Ferrite coatings, LTO has already been demonstrated by IBM and Fujifilm to have a capacity with current technology of 220TB per cartridge uncompressed — and cognitive data management — which involves the automation of things like intelligent tiering and data management keyed to data value and compliance requirements.
I have a workshop scheduled for January with Virtualization Review on the latter topic and I will be talking tape (again) at CA World in a couple of weeks. Hope to see some of you there.