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2004, February week 4, news archive

Megabyte's selection of storage news

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Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies
article:- Flash Solid State Disks - Inferior Technology or Closet Superstar?
Squeak! - the Fastest Growing storage companies
Squeak! - the 10 biggest storage companies in 2005
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Scottsdale, Arizona - February 27, 2004 - In Q4 2003 the total Network Security market grew 8% sequentially and grew 15% in 2003 over 2002 according to Synergy Research Group. The market was worth over $3 Billion in 2003. ...Synergy Research Group profile

Seattle - February 27, 2004 - Isilon Systems announced today that FotoKem, one of the largest film and video post production companies in the United States, has purchased and deployed Isilon IQ for its work on major motion picture films. FotoKem uses Isilon IQ for the daily workflow of creating, processing and editing motion pictures. FotoKem also uses Isilon IQ to digitally process film trailers, including those for Oscar-nominated films "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and "Monster."

FotoKem turned to Isilon IQ to manage hundreds of thousands of files in the digital intermediate process, the industry's most progressive technology for perfecting the final look of major motion pictures. FotoKem looked at a host of network storage systems and selected Isilon IQ for its ability to scale capacity and throughput quickly and easily, maintaining consistently fast access to multiple projects in various stages of the post production workflow. FotoKem manages more than 22TB of digital content at any one time, with up to eight terabytes moving quickly in and out of the Isilon IQ cluster for color correction, dust and scratch removal and other editing processes. After installing Isilon IQ, FotoKem experienced immediate benefits such as the ability to manage more projects concurrently and generate more revenues from their existing resources.

"We have seen tremendous benefits from the Isilon IQ system because it delivers the same high performance regardless of the number of projects in the pipeline, and is so incredibly easy to use. It took us longer to take Isilon IQ out of the box than it did to install the system" said Bill Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, digital film services division at FotoKem. ...Isilon Systems profile

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - February 26, 2004 - LEGATO Software today announced the availability of DiskXtender 2000 version 5.5. DX 2000 - a Windows-based hierarchical storage management application within LEGATO's suite of Intelligent Data Management solutions – automatically moves infrequently accessed data to more cost-effective storage, maintaining transparent access to the user and associated applications. This software plays an integral part to an organization's Information Lifecycle Management strategy in meeting the challenges of rapid storage growth, regulatory compliance, shrinking backup windows and rising storage management costs. ...LEGATO Software profile

Havant, UK - February 25, 2004 - Xyratex today announced that it has acquired ZT Automation, a provider of disk media handling automation technology to the disk drive industry. The combination of Xyratex's expertise in high volume automated disk drive test and servo writing technologies, together with ZT Automation's experience in improving the efficiency of the complex media handling process, will allow Xyratex to offer customers the highly integrated media processing and disk drive testing solutions they need for addressing the operational pressures that continue to challenge the storage industry. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. ...Xyratex profile

SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 25, 2004 - Hitachi GST today announced the Ultrastar 10K300, the world's first 300GB enterprise hard disk drive. Hitachi's newest 10,000 RPM hard drive satisfies the requirements of mission-critical storage applications such as online transaction processing, data analysis and media streaming. The new 3.5-inch drives have already begun shipping and are in the process of being qualified at major OEMs worldwide. Hitachi expects volume shipments of the Ultrastar 10K300 to begin in the second quarter of this year. The drives will use Fluid Dynamic Bearing motors to provide a low acoustic rating and improved data integrity. The new drives will be available in Ultra 320 SCSI and 2Gb/s Fibre Channel interfaces.

"Being first to market with a 300GB server drive is a significant milestone," said Fumio Kugiya, general manager, Server Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Hitachi's technology expertise and product breadth are among the many reasons that customers are increasingly looking to Hitachi to meet their disk storage requirements. This is a significant achievement for Hitachi and is expected to solidify our position as one of the industry's top enterprise hard drive manufacturers."

Technical specifications:- Ultrastar 10K300 300GB, 1" high, 10,025 RPM, 61 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density, 5 glass disk platter(s) 10 GMR recording heads, 250 G @2ms non-operating shock, average latency 4.7 ms average seek time (read), 1,078 Mbit/s maximum internal transfer rate, 89 MB/s maximum sustained data transfer rate, 0.75 Kg weight. ...Hitachi profile

FREMONT, Calif. - February 25, 2004 - M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. has entered into a technology development agreement with Microsoft Corporation. Under the agreement, M-Systems will develop customized memory units for future Xbox products and services.

"Although Microsoft is not obligated to purchase any memory units under the agreement, we believe that this agreement could represent a significant opportunity for M-Systems," said Dov Moran, president and CEO of M-Systems. ...M-Systems profile

Sunnyvale, Calif. - February 25, 2004 - Network Appliance, Inc. today announced that Bronson Healthcare Group has deployed its SnapLock Compliance solution to help meet security requirements associated with HIPAA. This legislation holds healthcare companies accountable for the security of patients' health information. Bronson Healthcare chose SnapLock not only for its non-erasable and non-rewritable data permanence capabilities, but also for its ability to integrate seamlessly and rapidly into existing storage architectures and application environments. SnapLock Compliance on NearStore is a disk-based solution, enabling the simple, rapid retrieval required to efficiently meet regulatory requirements. Unlike tape backup solutions, SnapLock Compliance on NearStore eliminates manual search and retrieval of records, allowing Bronson's IT staff to avoid spending countless hours searching for records in physical vaults or archives. ...Network Appliance profile

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - February 24, 2004 - VERITAS Software Corporation today announced the availability of VERITAS Storage Foundation 4.0. This is the most significant release of VERITAS' core storage management technology since the company introduced virtualization and file system software in 1992. Key features include:- increased storage utilization, simplified server migration, reduced downtime and increased administrator productivity. VERITAS Storage Foundation 4.0 is available immediately starting at US $2,495. ...VERITAS profile

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - February 24, 2004 - CNT announced today that interoperability testing between Brocade SilkWorm fabric switches and the CNT FC/9000 Fibre Channel/FICON Director has been successfully completed. Last October Brocade and CNT announced a strategic alliance in which CNT would continue to offer the Brocade family of SilkWorm fabric switches to its global customers, designating these products as preferred storage networking solutions. In addition, Brocade would recommend CNT's UltraNet Edge products as a preferred SAN extension solution. Both CNT and Brocade also agreed to test interoperability and stand behind tested configurations. Today's announcement marks the successful completion of this interoperability testing. ...Brocade profile, ...CNT profile

LOS GATOS, Calif. - February 24, 2004 - ONStor, Inc. announced today that it has expanded support for a wide range of IBM storage products and received Ready for Tivoli certification from IBM. This ensures that the ONStor SAN filer solution integrates seamlessly with IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager. ONStor has also received IBM's TotalStorage Proven certification, denoting that the ONStor SAN filer system has been tested with IBM's FAStT family of disk storage systems, and TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller, and validated to meet IBM interoperability standards. The ONStor SAN filer system centralizes and simplifies file management to dramatically reduce capital costs and management complexity while ensuring continuous data availability and data protection. ...ONStor profile

RSA CONFERENCE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA - February 24, 2004 - AMD today announced the AMD Alchemy Au1550 security network processor. The processor accelerates networking and remote access applications such as gateways and NAS units, wireless access points and VoIP environments. The Au1550 features an integrated Security Engine which implements the entire VPN packet protocol in hardware, thereby off-loading the CPU from performing these tasks in software. By accelerating the complete IPsec packet-processing task in hardware, the Au1550 processor can significantly improve security performance relative to other network processors, which implement only selected encryption and hashing functions. The processor supports both IPsec and SSL types of VPN protocols and includes a True Random Number Generator. The Au1550 processor is currently sampling and is expected to be available in production quantities in the second quarter of 2004. ...AMD profile

February 23, 2004 - Agilent Technologies, Finisar, JDS Uniphase, TriQuint Optoelectronics and Tyco Electronics today announced a new multi-source agreement for small form-factor 2.5Gb/s pluggable dense wavelength division multiplexing fiber-optic transceivers. The DWDM small form-factor pluggable (SFP) MSA specification allows network equipment manufacturers to build applications with one platform that addresses multiple markets, including metro DWDM, multiple service operators, and storage area networks. Transceivers developed using this new specification will permit service providers to use cooled wavelength-specific optics in one SFP package to serve multiple markets. Until now SFP fiber optic transceivers have been used only in network equipment client-side applications. With the new MSA, SFP transceivers can also be used for line-side applications. The coverage of multiple markets and applications with a single transceiver-form-factor enables service providers to realize economies of scale and reduced costs. ...TriQuint Semiconductor profile

MOUNTAIN VIEW AND SUNNYVALE, Calif. - February 23, 2004 - Synopsys, Inc. today announced two acquisitions that will expand the company's successful DesignWare portfolio of standards-based IP. Synopsys and Monolithic System Technology, Inc. (MoSys) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Synopsys to acquire MoSys in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $432 million. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of May 2004. In addition, Synopsys announced that has acquired Accelerant Networks, a privately held company providing a highly efficient technology for high-speed serial interfaces.

MoSys Acquisition:- The amount of embedded memory used on a chip is expected to continue to grow dramatically in the next few years, from consuming more than 50% of the die area today to 70% by 2005, and up to 90% by 2011. This strong growth is being driven by an increase in the development of integrated applications such as consumer electronics that combine voice, data and multimedia on one SoC. Adding MoSys' unique, patented 1T-SRAM technology to Synopsys' DesignWare IP portfolio will provide Synopsys customers with memory IP that works with regular digital processes to offer a combination of high density, low power consumption, high speed and low cost that other available memory technologies do not match. ...MoSys profile, ...Synopsys profile

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - February 23, 2004 - TOLIS Group today announces BRU Server for Mac OS X, a robust native Mac OS X client/server-based backup software solution. Delivering the reliability of the venerable BRU™ technology, BRU Server is packed with functionality that includes: three interface options that allow flexible and fully customizable operation, Disk Staging, the ability to backup systems that are intermittently attached to the network, and virtually limitless scalability. Able to pull single streams of data off a 2GB/Fibre configured Xserve RAID in excess of 130 MB per second; BRU Server can stream the most modern tape drive technology and assures a return on tape hardware investments made today and tomorrow. BRU Server Basic, BRU Server Network, and BRU Server Enterprise are available to provide support ranging from two networked systems to the largest enterprise. Pricing starts at $379. ...TOLIS profile

BOULDER, CO AND REDWOOD CITY, CA - February 23, 2004 - Spectra Logic and Decru, Inc. today announced that Decru DataFort storage security appliances have been certified by Spectra Logic for interoperability with its tape libraries. The tested solution combines Spectra Logic's trademark performance and scalability with Decru's government-certified, high performance encryption, creating a fully integrated platform for tape security. Data security is a top concern for IT organizations worldwide, and portable media like backup tapes pose unique security challenges. Tapes are small, easily concealed, and frequently entrusted to third parties for offsite storage. When data is stored in cleartext, curious insiders, contractors or attackers can gain access to sensitive information. Securing data on tape is also a critical concern for organizations facing data privacy regulations like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or the HIPAA.

"Data security is only as good as its weakest link, and securing data on backup media is often overlooked," said Kevin Brown, vice president of marketing, Decru. "Our partnership with Spectra Logic offers customers a transparent, fully-tested security solution to protect sensitive or regulated data on tape." ...Decru profile, ...Spectra Logic profile

HIMSS, ORLANDO, Fla. - February 23, 2004 - StorageTek today announced that CareGroup has selected StorageTek's Remote Managed Storage offering to manage and monitor their backup and restore performance in their data storage environment. Boston based CareGroup is an organized system of health care that comprises five hospitals and more than 1,800 physicians.

"We're in the business of taking care of people's lives. Our computer systems are at the very heart of that mission," said Robert Messier, director of production services, CareGroup. "Our physicians at every minute of the day are wholly dependent on our clinical applications, and thus, the technology supporting those applications. That's why we need to maximize our resources and efficiencies: StorageTek's Remote Managed Storage is helping us do that."

StorageTek's Remote Managed Storage is a suite of solutions that provides its customers with remote monitoring, reporting, and management of their storage environments. Remote Managed Storage provides a variety of service options that augment and enhance the client's IT staff, while the IT staff retains control.

"Remote Managed Storage allows us to spend less time handling our data backups and more time supporting CareGroup's main missions: maintaining top-notch patient care levels and operating efficiently," said Messier. "As soon as we saw the solution offered by StorageTek, we knew it was our answer. We now have help in intelligently monitoring the health of our storage environment. And, if we ever have a problem come up, we have a talented group of people we can rely on to act as liaisons to the other vendors to get the problem solved, right away." ...StorageTek profile

SANTA CLARA, CA and BURLINGTON, MA - February 23, 2004 - Sun Microsystems and AppIQ, Inc. today announced that Sun will license AppIQ storage area management technology and the two companies will jointly develop new software solutions. As a result of this relationship, the Sun StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager framework will leverage functionality from AppIQ StorageAuthority Suite to advance its heterogeneous storage management capabilities. The products resulting from this licensing and co-development agreement will enhance Sun's current SAN management, storage resource management, and heterogeneous provisioning solutions. The new products are currently scheduled to be available from Sun in the second half of 2004. ...AppIQ profile

MILPITAS, Calif. - February 23, 2004 - Maxtor Corporation today announced that it has entered into a five-year strategic agreement with TDK/SAE. Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate on the development of future head technologies, as well as manufacturing and manufacturing strategies. This strategic agreement with TDK/SAE provides Maxtor with an assured supply of heads and head stack assemblies on a "priority customer" basis. ...Maxtor profile

Newbury Park, Calif. - February 23, 2004 - iQstor Networks, Inc. announced that Swee-Gin Leong, will be discussing the impact of storage intelligence, and most importantly, where end-users need it to reside - at the Network Storage 2004 conference on March 8th. Leong is vice president of engineering for California-based iQstor. Part of the two-day conference that analyzes and debates new architectural processes in network storage and storage management, the session will explore the ins and outs of where storage intelligence should be based, and Leong's session is included in a larger examination of architectural trends that will feature topics from a range of storage networking executives and thought leaders.

"Storage intelligence will exist and evolve at all levels, but in the end, it must deliver business value, plain and simple," Swee-Gin Leong, vice president of engineering, iQstor Networks, said. "As we witness the back and forth debate between companies in this contentious issue, one thing becomes clear - to be widely embraced and adopted, storage intelligence should be located to best meet customer needs, delivering the right performance and the right price."

Leong's viewpoint has been shaped by over 20 years of IT industry experience in operating systems, storage software and hardware development, and expertise in forming strategic technology alliances domestically and internationally. His work with iQstor has resulted in the embedding of storage management and data services into the storage processors, making enterprise-level data services such as storage virtualization, snapshot, mirroring, remote replication, and policy-based storage provisioning affordable for the small and mid-size market. iQstor will also be announcing a new storage solution which the company claims will offer the industry's lowest TCO at the conference. ...iQstor Networks profile, ...Network Storage Conference

Editor:- February 23, 2004 - a new article is published today on STORAGEsearch - Flash Solid State Disks - Inferior Technology or Closet Superstar? - by BiTMICRO Networks. The author Kelly Cash, argues that traditional ideas about the weaknesses of Flash-SSDs for commercial server accelerator applications are obsolete due to the improvements in newer devices. And cost improvements relative to DRAM based systems provide another reason to look carefully at this technology. the article, ...BiTMICRO Networks profile

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - February 23, 2004 - Seagate Technology has earned sixsigmaIQ's annual Six Sigma Excellence Award for the Best Design For Six Sigma Project. Seagate received the award for its project, "Deployment of Design for Six Sigma in Seagate's U Series Disc Drive." Other finalists for the award included projects from Ford Motor Company and Raytheon. A panel of experts from Motorola, Johnson and Johnson, ABB, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin considered the entries.

The sixsigmaIQ award is designed to reward best practices and spotlight exceptional innovation. According to a statement released by the organization, "The sixsigmaIQ excellence awards have been established to honor, recognize and promote Six Sigma projects that demonstrate true best practices and to expand and increase the uptake of Six Sigma methodology globally. Celebrating the highest achieving individuals, teams and projects in Six Sigma, these awards credit the hard work and dedication devoted by many to Six Sigma and the great results associated." ..the awards, ...Seagate profile

Hopkinton, MA - February 23, 2004 - OSF Healthcare System, an integrated network of seven healthcare facilities in Illinois and Michigan, is implementing EMC Corporation's full range of networked storage and open software to roll out information lifecycle management. By implementing an EMC-based ILM strategy, OSF Healthcare System will meet its rapidly growing data storage and compliance needs while dramatically cutting storage costs and improving information availability to speed decision-making about patient care.

Mike Nauman, OSF Healthcare System's Chief Information Officer, said, "Our storage needs are growing by 50% annually because of our exploding volume of medical testing. It was clear that we needed a very different storage strategy if we were going to provide the same level of data access and availability - and stay on budget. With EMC's ILM, we can classify and prioritize our data based on its time-critical demand, then store it according to different requirements for accessibility, response time and expense. Also, ILM will allow us to speed the delivery of critical information to our medical staff and patients to improve clinical work flow productivity, while significantly lowering our data management costs." ...EMC profile

IRVINE, Calif. - February 23, 2004 - Procom Technology announced today that its new midrange NetFORCE 1800 has joined the ranks of Procom NAS filers approved for use by suppliers implementing the Ford Motor Company's C3P initiative. The C3P initiative is deployed worldwide in Ford product and vehicle programs as a solution for CAD/CAM/CAE and product information management applications. The NetFORCE 1800 was tested by the UGS PLM Solution's Supplier Integration Lab – the product lifecycle management subsidiary of EDS – and successfully met all requirements prescribed by Ford's Global Supplier Implementation Strategy.

As mandated by GSI/C3P, the NetFORCE 1800 is fully compatible with Windows NT and UNIX. The NAS filer increases data throughput and improves the ability to access data from almost any client on the network, making it ideal for the data-intensive environments the C3P initiative typifies. Moreover, it provides modular scalability up to a full terabyte of storage in only 2U of rack space and ultimate scalability to 6 terabytes in multi-gigabyte to multi-terabyte increments. ...Procom Technology profile

Editor:- February 23, 2004 - some indication of the increasing popularity of information about the storage market can be seen by looking at pageviews on In January 2004 STORAGEsearch pageviews were 46% higher than a year ago, and over 400% the level of January 2001. It's gratifying to know that in its 6th year of publication the mouse site is still reaching out to a bigger readership despite the huge number of alternative storage portals which have sprung up in the meantime. Thanks to all our readers and contributors for helping to keep up the momentum.

February 23, 2004 - XIOtech Corporation today announced that Magnitude 3D is now certified on the post-relational Caché database. The two companies will demonstrate Caché on Magnitude 3D in XIOtech's booth (#626) at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) show, running from February 22-26 in Orlando, Florida. Magnitude 3D fundamentally alters what any healthcare organization should expect from SANs, blending a simple and intuitive storage management environment with enterprise-class resilience and flexibility. Until now, healthcare IT organizations that implemented traditional SANs were faced with high levels of complexity and cost, extending management timeframes and application deployment cycles. With Magnitude 3D, healthcare organizations can affordably deploy heterogeneous enterprise SAN capabilities while enjoying the industry's lowest storage total cost of ownership and a simple application deployment environment. ...Xiotech profile

Other news on this page

Network Security Market Eclipsed $3 Billion in 2003

FotoKem Gets Fast Benefits from Isilon SAN

LEGATO Announces New Version of DiskXtender

Xyratex acquires ZT Automation

Hitachi unveils 300GB hard drive

M-Systems will develop removable flash for Xbox

Bronson Healthcare Chooses NetApp SnapLock

VERITAS Unveils Storage Foundation 4.0

CNT and Brodade Celebrate Interoperability

ONStor SAN Certified Compatible with IBM

New AMD Processor Speeds Up Secure NAS

Industry Leaders Announce MSA for SFPs

Synopsys to Acquire MoSys

BRU Server for Mac OS X

Decru Certified to Fortify Spectra Logic Libraries

CareGroup uses StorageTek Remote Managed Storage

Sun Licences AppIQ Storage Software

Maxtor Secures Disk Head Supplies

iQstor - "Where Should Storage Intelligence Reside?"

New Article from BiTMICRO Networks

Seagate Earns Six Sigma Excellence Award

OSF Healthcare System Deploys EMC ILM

NetFORCE 1800 Meets Ford C3P Requirements

STORAGEsearch pageviews grew 46%

Magnitude 3D Certified for InterSystems Caché

earlier news (archive)

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The vaporware at 40,000 feet smelled clean and fresh. Megabyte's personalized balloon was the last remaining asset from his VC funded "lighter than air" storage company.
Nibble:- Survival of the Fittest - when Diskosaurs Ruled the Earth.

n the early 1980s it was fashionable for some of the lean and mean companies I worked for to house their R & D departments in portakabins. In case you live outside the UK and haven't come across this term before, these were low cost temporary modular buildings, which depending on your view, could be regarded being as mid way in structural terms between a garden shed and a garage. For fast growing companies in the over regulated and crowded UK, these had the advantage of bypassing most of the local planning restrictions which applied to more permanent structures. Also they were quick and easy to put up. It's interesting to note that many of these temporary structures are still around twenty years later.

In retrospect I now wonder if maybe there was a Darwinian theory at work in the mindset of the management at work here.

"Survival of the fittest" - as applied to development engineers could mean that after a bitterly cold winter the management would come and see which engineers had survived till the spring. That cut out a lot of management angst if downsizing was needed - due to the natural wastage. Another advantage to management was that hiding your software engineers in portakabins, meant that your customers, who got the company tour round the prettier parts of the corporate park, wouldn't be scared off buying your new products by chance meetings with some of the strange looking geeks who actually designed them.

Of course the economic advantage of low cost building for the skunk works became crystal clear, when I too became management in the mid 80s and started my own VC backed company in my garage.

So the advantages of portakabins to the lean and mean school of management were:- they solved your problems with the planning authorities, saved building cost, and filtered out the hiring mistakes made by your HR department. But the main disadvantage of portakabins was the adverse effect it had on the computers.

During the cold months of winter the first person to arrive would have to turn on all the development computers and let them warm up. That's because if you tried using them for anything during the first twenty minutes or so - they just wouldn't work. The disk drives were very cold, possibly dripping with condensation and needed a good warm up before they would operate reliably. We didn't dare leave them switched on all night because these R & D computers usually had a lot of prototype hardware plugged into them and even a temporary building is better than none, which is what you might get if someone's overheated bipolar TTL circuits caught fire in the middle of the night. You also got that problem with MOS if you got the voltage levels wrong.

This isn't vacuum tube technology I'm talking about it. This was the state of the art in 2nd generation microprocessor development systems from the likes of Intel, Motorola, AMD, Zilog etc. We didn't have this problem with the first generation stuff in the 1970s - because - hell we didn't have disk drives in those days. After a day's programming in hand coded assembler - we'd just save the stuff onto an EPROM or paper tape. We put up with the unreliability of the new fangled disk drives because we got fed up with doing all that hex stuff, and even though each new desktop computer cost more than any of our houses, we needed the speed up to cope with spec changes, big development teams etc.

This symptom of waiting for the equipment to warm up and dry out a bit before use became less of a problem in the late 80s as disk technology improved and became less sensitive to temperature.

However, anyone who was involved in sales of computers in the mid to late 80s may remember that the first customer demonstration of the day - would often fail - particularly if the stuff had spent the previous night stored in the back of your car. Later, as the prices of computers dropped to the level where it was no longer economical to take equipment on the road (or do any demos at all) many of these problems vanished. But on the plus side, the sensitivity of disk drives to self destruct at the slightest drop onto a hard surface made safer drivers of us all. I remember the sinking feeling I had when our hired van hit a "sleeping policeman" traffic bump too fast as we drove in for a trade show, and I wondered how many of the workstations in the back would actually boot up.

If you're one our younger readers and were actually born in the 1970s or early 80s - you probably think this regression into history shows what a lot of junk the equipment was we worked with back then. You're used to notebooks, and add in cards for your PDA or MP3 player which can travel anywhere, survive bumps, snow and tropical beaches. Your computer gadgets go where you go and you expect them to work when you switch them on. Damn right.

OK - but if it wasn't for the biplanes - we wouldn't have today's fighter jets.

Which reminds me...

Even back in the prehistoric days of the diskosaurs - which could go flaky if you looked at them the wrong way - there was another class of computer equipment that was being carried around in jeeps and helicopters and could be sprayed with water or dropped and still work just fine.

You had to be quite strong to carry what the military used to call a "portable computer" - because the batteries alone could put a strain on your back. But there were computer companies working out what the problems were, and solving them even that long ago. The resulting solutions cost quite a lot more than their civilian counterparts, but they would survive where nothing else would.

Today, many of the problems which face companies in their storage systems aren't related to temperature, vibration or humidity. Today's problems may be that you want 100% uptime, you want 100% security (a virus free hacker free system on which your life can depend). You also want to be able to buy spares or upgrades in 10 years time, and don't want to be forced into a major redesign of your business because the hardware isn't going to be available when part of your mission critical system dies of old age.

There's still a lot that can be learned about the future of storage technology by looking at what the military are doing today. They're solving problems which you might not care about now, but they've got a good track record of pioneering a lot of the technologies which really make computers reliable.
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