BitDepth#869 - January 22

HP brings its new enterprise level storage system to Trinidad and Tobago, sparking some thoughts about deep storage.
Deep storage
Alexander Charry, HP Storage Product manager, Latin America and Caribbean Region (left) and Marcio Curvo, HP Storage Specialist, Caribbean Region explain the complicated technologies of the company’s new server level Storage Area Network with a witty roadshow style presentation. Photograph by Mark Lyndersay.

I’m sitting at the table here at the Hyatt, taking notes, many of them with huge question marks next to them. Even as I’m scribbling, I’m wondering, who will this column be for?
Sometimes, it’s easy to do a column, there’s a reasonable certainty that someone will have a problem that’s solved by its subject, that it may offer an answer to a question that’s gone unaddressed or even provoke curiosity about a new development in technology.

Occasionally it’s a topic that’s so clearly a topic with a business focus that it falls quite naturally in the Business Guardian.
So when HP presented its new server class storage systems from its 3PAR division, it seemed as if the room at the Hyatt, with a crowd of serious looking tech people was already talking to everybody who would need to know about the new product, the StoreServ 7000. Read the Guardian’s story with all the official message points

This is a range of server room storage products that’s designed to bring a new level of efficiency to companies working with massive datasets.
How big? The base model starts you off with bays for 24 drives. You’ll be using two unit bays in your rackmounts for this beast, and you can scale it up to 480 drives which you can fill with 3TB Serial Attached SCSI drives.

This is
serious server metal, with the kind of features that large enterprise demands and HP has blessed DigiData with partner status for this rollout. If you don’t need Application Specific Integrated Circuits, support for VMWare, Oracle, Microsoft Exchange and SQL and thin persistence, if you don’t even know what I’m going on about here, then you’re probably not the customers that HP was looking for last week.

Everybody’s looking for more storage for their systems these days and nobody more so than visual content creators, well them and collectors of, let’s call it, “online media resources.”
Enterprise may have begun to grapple with the challenges of big data, but that just foreshadows a future that’s coming soon in which we are all going to be dealing with the challenges of huge data sets with an accompanying need for data mining and effective metadata tagging.

If you aren’t
Photoshelter, you probably don’t need this level of storage and serverside application abstraction. After all, HP calls a Storage Area Network (SAN) device capable of managing 72TB of managed data resources an economy solution.
You won’t find this type of storage on the typical desktop, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about where your data is going to live.

Photographers and videographers already know about the challenges of keeping massive projects available in near-line storage and effectively duplicated across multiple media, and they’re on the cutting edge of a problem that eventually will trickle down to everyone capturing photographs and video today.
Decades ago, a shoebox under the bed held the prints that didn’t make it into an album and tapes ended up on a shelf in the cupboard.

Those analog solutions, as irritating as they were, were a mercy compared to the challenges that will be along in just a few years as folders of photos and gigabytes of video clips merge into a mammoth data monster that won’t easily fit into bedroom nooks and crannies.

Expect at least some of the principles in today’s extremely technical HP StoreServ to become more accessible as the data demands among the hoi polloi blossom out of control.
We aren’t likely to make the jump to sophisticated SAN devices like the StoreServ 7000 as a first step, but expect data servers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices to become simpler and more accessible as more users hit the limits of drive boxes hooked up to computers.
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