Sunday evenings, seven o'clock, fingers hovering above the play and record buttons to avoid some DJ prattling over the top of your favourite tune.
Remember that? Well, maybe not because it was about 30 years ago. But what happened to change all that? One specific technology came along and changed the game. We moved (albeit with sadness) from vinyl and tape to CDs, and then to digital download (with a few false starts along the way - anyone remember MiniDisc?).
This evolution has happened over a number of years and there is one technology that really defined the change - digital media. This change then created opportunity. Look how Apple benefited from innovation in the MP3 and digital download markets.
We are at such a point in the storage market. But there isn't just one, but a number of technologies (some driven by research and advances in consumer technology) that are challenging the way we store and manage our data and applications.
In my conversations with various customers, analysts and journos, I talk about these changes as "technology inflexion points" -- the point at which something reaches its peak, then begins to fade away, revealing a new opportunity.
For a number of years, the requirements of enterprise storage environments have been satisfied (in the loosest sense) by the steady development of the HDD array. It has been the bedrock of our data storage world, despite being a ‘one-size-fits-all' proposition.
However, a big leap in the development of innovative storage technologies, which are all happening in parallel, is finally providing enterprise customers with storage solutions that fit their specific need. The right tools for the right job. Here is what I see:
• Flash technology that supercharges key line-of-business applications that have suffered from the poor IOPS performance of legacy arrays.
• Scale-out technology, which simplifies data management for businesses suffering under the weight of large pools of unstructured ‘big data'.
• Object storage proving the opportunity for organisations to simplify scaling their storage environment, while improving data availability and reducing cost.
• Software-defined storage (SDS). By abstracting the software management layer from bare metal server hardware, SDS offers highly compelling cost advantages. It also increases automation and integration in VM environments, allowing for more dynamic storage provisioning.
• Cloud is providing the opportunity for unparalleled cost reduction opportunities, utility based provision & billing and universal access to data.
It is an interesting time in the storage market, and there will be some new names making waves. Change in the technological landscape will enable change in the channel and with it, opportunity. Exciting times ahead.
But, new technology aside, I still hope to find the time to give my vinyl collection the odd spin this summer.
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