20 years ago - in stealth mode by
editor - StorageSearch.com - September 12, 2018
I 've been perusing my emails of 20 years ago
(September 1998) which was the month before I was due to
launch my new site
StorageSearch.com and I was curious
to remind myself what kind of conversations I was having with people in the
run up to doing that and - in effect - exiting stealth mode with an entirely
web based publication which had no past print rooted brand strength.
|when dealing with such a small
practicality dictates that one candle
for each decade is quite
had already been publishing a server market guide for 6 years at that time
SPARC Product Directory)
and my company had
been operating a dotcom based business model funded by web advertising
since 1996. But I wanted to make the new storage site look different and have
its own identity.
Some of the new changes I planned to introduce in
my new server-agnostic storage guide were more pictures (for example the
branding images of the
first few mice were already in hand) and the other "innovation"
was to be the use of banner ads on the site - a design feature to which I had
originally said no a few years before.
In those 20 year old emails
I was looking at this week a common thread was that none of my storage
advertising customers had ever run banner ads to promote their enterprise
products before and so therefore many of the conversations were about
finding people to design them in time to launch the new site.
preserved some of these older ads for future historians (pre modern SSD era
storage banner ads /
millenium SPARC banner ads) because they still tell us a lot about the
products and the excitement about the key messages about them from a
perspective which you don't see in dry historical narratives. (I'll add some
more of those early examples into an update of this blog so you can get an idea
of how much things have changed since then.)
You can see below an
example of one of the earliest storage banner ads designed specifically to run
here.(The vendor was Dynamic Computer Products which soon after changed their
business name to
|This rev 1.0 ad design above - "leaders in
RAID, disk, tape and memory upgrades" - was created in September 1998 and
like most ads underwent many design changes during the period that the ad
programs ran. (Approximately 8 consecutive years with this customer - which was
not unusual in my customer base during the 20 peak years of my web ad based
If it wasn't for the brave companies who were designing ads
for a new site which didn't exist yet and who weren't scared of mice then I
wouldn't have had such a rewarding job for the next 20 years and my readers
would've had to wait another 2 years to see the next wave of
portals (that's what we
called them back then) which covered the storage market as a disaggregated
(from raw storage chips, and RAID systems,
to tape libraries) itself
would later change when in about 2007 - on seeing the scale of my
for the SSD market coming true - I quietly resolved to reduce my
editorial coverage of things to do with the rotating storage market and instead
refocus most of my energies on the rapidly changing SSD market. Which was
just about as much as I thought I would be able to comfortably wrestle with
given where the technology had started and where I thought it was going to go.
- the earlier SPARC Product Directory (launched in 1992) already included
compatible storage interface adapters, memory etc - including SPARC chips,
motherboards and systems from notebooks to supercomputers.
pivotal factor for me in the decision to start a separate storage site was when
I added an online directory of RAID systems to the SPARC guide in 1997 and
acquired new customers from outside the Sun market (such as DEC) as well as
additional business from some long standing customers of mine (such as Rave
Computer which were already advertising SPARC systems for the telco market and
had some compatble rackmount RAID for the same applications.
launch of StorageSearch.com in October 1998 new directories were added to the
site every week until it became a
big list of lists
covering the whole market.