Sometimes I surprise even myself …

November 5, 2013

I wrote the following back in early 2009. I’ve never really thought too much about how right or wrong I am … that’s for the critics to work out. However read the following in italics, then read on about our latest incarnation of hybridness (is that a word?)

“… (lots of blah which I’ll save you reading) …

What storage technologies will survive into the future and what won’t?

The simple answer to that question which is an extremely safe bet is … they all will.

Will SSD kill off SAS? Did SAS kill off Fibre? Will SATA kill off SSD due to price? No. None of those things will happen for a few simple reasons. Those reasons don’t happen to have much to do with technology … they are more to do with the people behind the technology.

Fibre will survive. SSD will grow in popularity and eat into the 3.5″ SATA market. SATA will move to the 2.5″ market and increase in size to the point where we have insanely huge drives at ridiculously cheap prices. SAS will remain due to the fact that poeple just loved SCSI and can’t bear to give it up, so they’ll accept SAS as it’s heathen reincarnation and live with that because “it just works”.

All of our current technologies will be with us for the forseeable future in the same way your favourite football team will continue to survive. People follow a technology like they follow a football team. Good, bad, indifferent, financially stuffed, incredibly successful … none of that matters. It works for me so I’ll stick with it.

The answer, of course, is that the future will see a combination of the more successful technologies in some sort of hybrid form. The car manufacturers are doing it now and we are all agreeing. Pure electric cars suck. Pure petrol cars suck (petrol that is). Combine the two and you have a winner for everyone. So it is with storage technology.

Pure SATA is too slow and too unreliable. Pure Fibre and pure SAS are too expensive. Pure SSD is nuts (price and capacity). However … combine those technologies into a hybrid creature that uses the best features of each one and you have a winner. So keep an eye out for products that use a little of everything … balancing your performance, capacity and growth factors while keeping your balance sheet in a colour other than red.

Hybrid technology. That’s what will survive. Keep an eye out at a store near you.”

Now either I was ahead of my time, or I’m even more cynical than I had originally thought. Adaptec has just released maxCache Plus with its soon-to-be-available Series 8 RAID controllers. maxCache plus is a tiering technology – where you define what is your fastest down to slowest storage, and the controller/software intelligently stores important data on your fast storage and your unused or unimportant data on the slow stuff.

So now all those different kinds of storage you have in the one box can be made to work together to give you the storage performance you want without throwing out all of our favourite old technologies.

maxCache Plus – find out more on the Adaptec website.

Ciao
Neil

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