All the hype in Australia at the moment is the National Broadband Network … basically fibre to the node everywhere (fibre to all homes and businesses). Now no-one believes it’s going to happen in the next 6 months but the current government has a firm commitment to get this going.
So what implications will that have for users?
As a venerable road warrior I live out of my laptop. Like most mobile workers I have everything I need in the laptop, and backup regularly when I get near a link that’s fast enough not to bore me to death. Currently that means LAN. ADSL, which is the most common broadband technology in this country is nowhere near efficient enough to pump large amounts of data across in a short period of time.
But what if the internet link I’m using wherever I am in the country runs at LAN speeds?
I could work from home with corporate storage access speeds that rival my current LAN access speeds when I occasionally make it to the office. All my colleagues could also work from home. Organisations that have offices in multiple locations across the country would benefit dramatically. Imagine having only one server (or cluster) for your entire organisation, rather than a complete server environment (including backups etc) in each city. Now that will impact storage dramatically.
Cloud computing should benefit dramatically as well. Instead of having that server in the one organisation head office, it could actually reside on a service-providers network somewhere in the cloud, mean every user, whether a road warrior or office-bound worker, would have high-speed access to their data through the broadband network.
Fast data access, consistent and reliable backups, common experience for all users no matter of location (in or out of the current corporate network), centralised storage and organisation of data, easy sharing of data across corporate employees … it all sounds to good to be true.
So what impact will it have on storage? Larger, faster, centralised repositories of data, greater need for tiered heirarchy of data, increased reliance on disk2disk backups as a wider time-range of people access the same data (reducing backup windows) … the implications are many and varied.
For the moment all I can really be sure of is that there’s going to be plenty of work for people willing to dig trenches and lay cables for a few years to come. Now thats a thought … the wife is always telling me I need to get fitter
As my daughter says … bring it on!