it’s that time of year again when I write to you on behalf of the storage community and beyond. 2011 promised much but delivered less than hoped; the financial crisis throughout the world has put a damper on the party and there are some gloomy faces around. But as we know, the world will always need more storage, so what do we need to deliver in 2012.
Firstly, what we don’t need is Elementary Marketing Crud from the Effluent Management Cabal; perhaps this was a last grasp at a disappearing childhood as they realise that they need to be a grown-up company.
What I would like to see is some more serious discussion about what ‘Big Data’ is and what it means both from a Business point of view but also from a social responsibility point of view. I would like to see EMC and all get behind efforts to use data for good; for example, get behind the efforts to review all drug trial data ever produced to build a proper evidence based regime for the use and prescription of drugs, especially for children who often just get treated as small adults. This is just one example of how we can use data for good.
There are so many places where ‘Big Data’ can be used beyond the simple analysis of Business activities that it is something which really could change the world. Many areas of science from Climate Research to Particle Physics generate huge amounts of data that need analysing and archiving for future analysis that we can look at this being a gift to the world.
And Santa, it can also be used to optimise your route around the world, I’m sure it is getting more complicated and in these days of increasing costs, even you must be looking at ways of being more efficient.
Flying through clouds on Christmas Night, please remember us down below who are still trying to work out what Cloud is and what it means; there are those who feel that this is not important but there are others who worry about there being no solid definition. There are also plenty of C-level IT execs who are currently loosing sleep as to what Cloud in any form means to them and their teams.
So perhaps what is needed is less spin, more clarity and leadership. More honesty from vendors and users, stop calling products and projects, Cloud; focus on delivery and benefits. A focus on deliverables would remove much of the fear around the area.
Like your warehouses at this time of year, our storage systems are full and there is an ever increasing demand for space. It does not slow down and unlike you, our storage systems never really empty. New tools for data and storage management allowing quick and easy classification of data are a real requirement along with standards based application integration for Object storage; de-facto standards are okay and perhaps you could get some of the vendors to stop being precious about ‘Not Invented Here’.
I would like to see the price of 10GbE come down substantially but also I would like to see the rapid introduction of even faster networks; I am throwing around huge amounts of data and the faster I can do it, the better. A few years ago, I was very positive about FCoE; now I am less so, certainly within a 10 GbE network it offers very little but faster networks might make me more positive about it again.
SSDs have changed my desktop experience but I want that level of performance from all of my storage; I’ve got impatient and I want my data *NOW*. Can you ask the vendors to improve their implementation of SSDs in Enterprise Arrays and obviously drive down the cost as well? I want my data as fast as the network can supply it and even faster if possible; local caching and other techniques might help.
But most of all Santa, I would like a quiet Christmas where nothing breaks and my teams get to catch up on some rest and spend time with their families. The next two years’ roadmap for delivery is relentless and time to catch our breath may be in short supply.