Friday, July 5, 2013


Recently, I had one of these "aha" moments, situations where things come together and you suddenly realize that a thought or idea you had -only as a faint impression- suddenly becomes real! Most often this happens to me when I read an article which exactly sums up -in an eloquent way-what I had only been guessing or feeling.
The "Register" article which had that effect on me last week is this one: "Amazon, currently estimated to have $2bn in storage sales with an expected 65 per cent growth in storage revenue in each of the next 2-3 years which will make them a top 3 player in the storage industry".

Top 3 player in the storage industry? For decades, the likes of EMC, IBM, HP, NetApp, HDS have been switching positions in the quarterly IDC and Gartner charts... now Amazon?
How come?
Well, here's why: "The move to cloud computing means fewer companies will buy huge numbers of servers and storage arrays for their own use. Over the next five years, Morgan Stanley’s expects that 3 percent to 17 percent of current spending could be sucked up by cloud-based IT service providers."
And this is how "cloud storage" gets to "top three": 17% of the storage market today actually would be the #2 spot (behind market leader EMC).
So customers only hold very limited amounts of active data in their "on-premise" storage farms (most likely on SSDs) and push/pull everything else (including archives and backups) to the cloud.
As we all know, cloud providers like Amazon are not known as buyers of huge amounts of storage systems. Like Google and Facebook and other "hyperscale data" companies, they build their own infrastructure, based on chips from Intel or AMD and disk drives directly from the vendors like WD and Seagate.
Now, preparing for this era and in order to allow enterprises to mitigate the dependence on one specific cloud technology or vendor, IBM is working on a project (this was actually demo'ed at the Edge 2013 conference in June) to provide redundancy by using an on-premise IBM Storwize V7000 system connected to multiple clouds (RAID'ed clouds if you will): Please read the research paper here!

On to the network: (after all "cloud" is enabled only by powerful networks!)
You may not have realized it, but Ethernet did celebrate its 40th birthday this past spring, here's an interview with Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ether-Net!
At the same time, 16 Gbps Fibre Channel is gaining momentum as is reported here. The fact that CISCO recently announced their own 16 Gbps SAN director definitely is an endorsement for the Fibre Channel market and provides clients a choice of CISCO or Brocade gear for their storage networks!

And lastly, as many of us will be enjoying vacations in the coming weeks, exploring new countries and making new experiences, here's some great thoughts related to "live-blogging": "Even for those who are always pulling out their phones to snap pictures or shoot videos, to text or tweet or tumble or otherwise share the moments of their being, the pleasure lies mainly in the recording, not in the record. The act of recording is itself a disposable experience. The tools for recording and sharing are disposable as well. They get old."
Have fun!