|What's the future of
CDs and DVDs? |
Should they be part of your long term media strategy? Or
will they soon look as obsolete as papyrus scrolls would in your bookcase?
CDs have already been around for 20 years - so that may seem
like forever and you may think that DVDs too will still be around just as long.
But my own view is that these are merely short term stepping stones to something
else in the same way that scrolls and loose collections of paper were a
transient phase which gave way to the bound book.
Now when I talk
about books - the "transient phase" was hundreds of years and the
bound printed books which followed - have been around for about 600 years.
Technology changed a lot more slowly in those days. When you're on digital time
it becomes hard to recognise the landscape after as little as 600 weeks.
are some markers to give you an idea of the rate of change in storage capacity.
1970 the first DRAM chip had a capacity of 1k bits. Nowadays high density
gigabyte memory modules are typically made from assembling multiple 512Mbit
chips in a single package.
At the individual chip level that's an
increase of x 524,288 in 34 years.
If we assume the same rate of
increase then by the year 2038 - a RAM chip could store 300 terabytes -
and a RAM module will be somewhere between 16 to 64 times as much. This assumes
there are no breakthroughs in multi-chip packaging technology - where the real
problem has always been heat dissipation rather than the ability of
manufacturers to connect dice together and test them and still get acceptable
yields and working products.
In reality - semiconductor technology
might not be scalable to that extent. But I remember that 15 years ago some
people were saying that it wouldn't get as far as it has already done before
hitting physical limits. The chip makers already have a 40 year old tradition of
proving Moore's law correct.
Hard Disk Drive Technology
1984 the typical 5.25" inch hard drives which you could buy for an IBM PC
had a capacity of 10M bytes. Today you can buy a 400G bytes drive and fit it
in a much smaller space.
At the individual hard disk level that's an
increase of x 40,960 in 20 years.
So even in just another 10 years,
assuming the same rate of technology improvement - a typical disk drive might
have a capacity about 200 times as much as today - or around 78 terabytes.
(Trust me on this - it's the square root of 40,960 which gives the right
answer.) In practise it might be a little less than 78TB - because the
standard disk form factor by then will certainly be well under 1 inch. But why
worry? Heck you'll be able to fit a 500TB RAID system inside a little match
So where does this leave the transient CD and DVD?
in just the same way that a printed book (with the pages in the right order -
but let's not get side tracked into entropy) is much better than a collection
of scrolls or loose bound pages, because the unit you're interested in is the
whole bible or the whole novel or the entire history book... still with me? -
in the same way - an individual CD or DVD is just a fragment of your
entertainment and information environment. More like a song or a film scene.
If you can pack the whole entertainment library into a little nugget
that's phsically smaller than a CD - then that's what you're going to do. It's
tidier and there's less risk of not having what you need when you need it.
reality advances in communications
technology and wireless networking will speed up the process of discarding
digital scrolls such as CDs - because they supplement the beneficial effect of
oneness, and help speed up the move from scrolls to book.
take long to figure out that the storage needs of a typical consumer (movies,
music, camera archives, books etc) will be significantly bigger than the amount
of data deployed per user by the organisation they work in. (Unless you work or
the CIA - or its replacement.) So sometime in the next 5 years the home is
going to overtake the office as the biggest repository of storage gizmos and
The computer games market has already shown that the supercomputer
processing capacity from one generation can cheerfully be taken for granted as
the average kid's plaything in the next. And so it will go for storage too. But
on the way - businesses will still have to manage their customers, web sites
will still have to deliver the right content. The road will be messy and criss
crossed with false turns and blind alleys. That'll be interesting... Stay tuned
to STORAGEsearch. You ain't seen
Media Exposed - Looking at the Contenders for Optical Media Archiving -
article by Plasmon |
Optical archiving has become a legally
mandated storage technology in many markets. There are a lot of new optical
media technologies and packaging formats to choose from. But which ones will
stand the test of time in terms of data reliability and cost of ownership?
Plasmon, founded in 1987, has nearly 2 decades of experience as a systems and
media supplier in the optical archiving industry. This article by Steve Tongish,
Plasmon's Director of Marketing EMEA, looks at the critical factors for the
new products now available and those emerging so you can assess which will work
best for you. ...
read the article,
|SSD Pricing -
where does all the money go?|
|SSDs are among the most
expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy and comprehending the
factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating
|| ...which is not made any
easier when market prices for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more
than 100x to 1!
Why is that? ...read the article to
|this way to the Petabyte
|In 2016 there will be
just 3 types of
SSD in the datacenter.|
of them doesn't exist yet - the bulk storage archive SSD.
start to replace the last remaining strongholds of
hard drives in the
datacenter due to its unique combination of characteristics, huge storage
density, low running costs and operational advantages.
storage SSDs will displace the last remaining hard drives in the enterprise
server market by 2020 - even if the price of a new hard disk drops to zero
and enterprise HDDs are given away free!
||The new business and
architectural models of the datacenter - how we get from here to there - and
the technical and problems which will need to be solved - are just some
of the ideas explored in this