Following Up on IBM Edge 2012
While no shortage of articles, columns and blogs have hit the
airwaves, print media and Intertubes in the wake of IBM's excellent Edge
2012 conference, underscoring the value proposition of IBM's active
data compression technology (manifested today on products like Storwize
V7000 and SAN Volume Controller), my enthusiasm remains somewhat
Yes, I contributed to the noise around the compression
announcements. I moderated a webcast about the IBM compression
technology story just this past Wednesday. (The customer testimonial
was compelling and probative and the IBMers on the call were excellent
ombudsmen for their wares, as always.) But, still, I want to be clear.
I see compression (and deduplication), at best, as tactical
technologies. More precisely, I see them as weapons for fighting a
delaying action in the struggle most companies face with respect to
unmanaged data growth.
Compression (and dedupe to some extent) have the potential to slow the rate at which we fill our disk systems, but they ultimately do little-to-nothing to turn the tide, or to bend the cost curve in storage over the long term.
Ultimately, the combination of unmanaged data growth, combined with the store-everything-on-disk dogma (Omnia in Orbis)
that has become so dominant in the marketecture around storage today,
will lead to a predictable outcome: storage acquisition expense will
soon dwarf all other IT hardware spending in contemporary data centers.
And just as inevitably, increasing the complement of disk will
ultimately run afoul of rising energy costs and will plow headlong into
the coming energy crisis created by an archaic and over-saturated power
distribution grid that is already creating issues in the New England
Corridor, Northern and Southern California, the St. Louis grid nexus,
To deal with the challenge effectively and permanently, our solution
must be strategic and long terml. If compression and dedupe deliver
tactical advantage, it is by delaying the deployment of more disk
capacity and by buying us time to do what must be done: coming up with a
way to manage the glut of data that is finding its way into the data
junk drawer at an accelerating rate.
That's a major reason why I believe that the most important
technology demonstrated at the IBM Edge 2012 event was not compression,
but rather an up-and-coming mass storage technology leveraging magnetic
tape and the Linear Tape File System (LTFS).
I am going to be writing about this on ESJ.com and probably in
several other venues in the near future. Here is some of my source
material: an interview I was generously granted at Edge with the top
LTFS mavens at IBM.
The videos below are a bit noisy at first, shot as they were in the
social media area of the Edge event. But, I hope you will find it
useful in understanding the history and future direction for
LTFS-augmented tape storage from the perspective of IBM. I will
contribute my commentary in a later post, and hope to add interviews
with others in the industry who are offering complementary technology to
realize the Tape NAS vision, including Spectra Logic and Crossroads
Followup blogs to come...
Thu, Jun 21 2012 1:38 AM