I was a very minor player in the space race. Not the race between global super powers in the 50s and 60s, but the race in the 90s to put the first high-resolution commercial imaging satellite into orbit. It was an exciting time. Private companies consisting of just a couple hundred people had the audacious vision that they could build satellites, launch them, construct a network of ground stations, and collect sufficient imagery to create a detailed, searchable database of the globe. It was easy to believe that putting the planet online could change the world, touching an enormous range of human endeavors spanning agriculture, defense, human rights, mineral extraction, disaster response, urban planning and construction.
Data protection strategies have been in a state of accelerated evolution over the last five years. I hear this confirmed regularly by customers describing their implementation stories with Quantum, as well as by the industry analysts that we meet with to discuss our latest product innovations. ESG’s Jason Buffington is one of those analysts that we talk with often, and it’s always interesting to see how ESG’s research squares against what we’re seeing in data centers. Jason’s latest video blog about modernizing data protection – 8 Suggestions for Every Data Protection Strategy – highlights ESG research that resonated with me in a number of respects.
I know a lot of folks think the big contest this time of year is the Super Bowl playoffs. In Quantum’s Denver, Bay Area and Seattle offices we’re sporting the colors of the Broncos, 49ers and Seahawks, with just a bit of friendly trash talk to kick off conference calls. Perhaps you know someone rooting for New England – I don’t. But if you care about data storage, the other big contest is Storage Magazine’s Product of the Year Awards. The award serves as an annual reminder of what the storage community found important, promising, and profitable. This year’s award finalists include a cross-section of Quantum products spanning scale-out shared storage and the data center, highlighting the breadth of innovation from the company over the last year. For 2013, four Quantum products – more than any other vendor among the finalists – have been selected in three award categories.
Astronomers searching for life outside of our solar system speak of The Goldilocks Zone – the region around a star where conditions are suitable for sustaining life: not too close and hot, and not too distant and cold. Initially these “just right” conditions appeared to be almost impossibly rare, but researchers over the years have found organisms that can exist in more conditions than previously imagined. It turns out that the Goldilocks Zone is wider than we thought, increasing the possibility of finding other planets capable of sustaining life. Today a similar recognition is happening in data centers. While IT has long thought of data storage as “hot” and requiring immediate access in flash memory or primary disk, or “cold” and suitable for backup and archive to tape, there weren’t many choices for a “warm” tier of data that required a more nuanced cost/latency balance. The expanding range of choices such as public and private cloud, object storage and LTFS tape has in effect created a wider Goldilocks Zone for data centers. The refreshed thinking about the capabilities of both established and emerging technologies for these different tiers of storage has been getting a lot of attention lately.
When I learned that Quantum had picked up two honors at the 2012 Storage, Virtualization and Cloud Computing (SVC) Awards in London this year, my first thought was that no one carries off wearing a tux quite like the British. Look how much fun they’re having! In contrast, most American males view the tux as a form of punishment, and we rent rather than buy them because, for many of us, our waistlines are likely to change between tux-worthy events. The recent SVC honors Quantum received went to the DXi V1000 virtual deduplication appliance, which was awarded “Virtualization Product of the Year.” Additional accolades went to Quantum’s StorNext data management software in the Storage Software Appliance category. Sounds like it was quite a party.