Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts, Comments and Take-aways from 2011 Storage Visions

The 10th Annual Storage Visions Conference opened with Tom Coughlin’s presenting his top 11 storage trends for 2011. The ones that caught my attention were:
  1. Storage virtualization in the home. Having seen virtualization cause significant angst in the data center I would place a question mark on this prediction unless home storage architects significantly simplify how virtualization is implemented and how transparent it is to the user. 
  2. Automatic metadata generation of associative metadata to enable easier organization of personal and commercial content. 
  3. Expect to hear a lot more about the generation, application and analysis of metadata. 
  4. Look for applications that enable the combining of user generated content with commercial story lines.
  5. Hybrid storage (HDD and SSD) will become commonplace. This suggests that tiered storage architectures that are currently the prerogative of more sophisticated storage environments will be enabled for the home environment.
Some of the more interesting sound bites in the sessions were:
  1. A. The storage needed to store the movie Avatar is 4PB.
  2. Since 2005, 345,124,400 records containing sensitive personal information have been involved in security breaches.
  3. In 2008 the average cost of a data breach was $6.65M per affected company or another way of looking at it, $202/record. (source: Information Week Feb, 2009 Report) R
  4. Reasons to encrypt data:
    • 45 states have data privacy laws with encryption safe harbors.
    • New federal data breach laws have encryption safe harbor laws that mean companies do not need to notify if they can prove data encryption was in place when the data was compromised. However a lawyer on a later panel questioned the safe harbor claim so I guess some due diligence is needed.
   5. 70% of SMB’s that report a data breach are out of business within a year. (UK Statistic source; DTI/PWC 2008 report ).
   6. The security threat of printers and copiers was somewhat of a surprise.
  • A survey by Sharp Electronics highlighted that 60% of consumers do not know that printers store images on a hard drive. 
  • A second finding suggested that consumers are unaware of security risks associated with the hard drive in the copier. Considering that encryption is not always used the potential for confidential data sitting on an unprotected hard drive in a printer or copier is high.
  • Power cycling does not erase data on the hard drive.
  • As already mentioned although printers and copiers may have encryption features they are seldom used. 
  • Page images remain on the hard drive after output. 
  • CBS in an investigation purchased 4 used printers and extracted thousands of documents including banking, medical and personal information from the devices hard drives. This exposure has apparently caused legislative action.
  • As highlighted by the CBS report de-commissioning protocols are generally ignored making old printers a target for information/identity thieves.
An interesting Key note was given by Brian David Johnson, Futurist at Intel and author of Screen Future, a discussion of the future of entertainment, computing and devices. His presentation focused on the behaviors’ surrounding television, as he put it “TV is still the center of people’s lives”. His two most notable factoids were;
  • By 2015 there will be over 500 Billion hours of video content hosted in the Cloud. (source: Screen Future)
  • There are 12 Billion devices that can retrieve TV content from the internet.
At least for me, the presentation that had the greatest impact was by Robert Tercek, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. His talk had the attention getting title of “Goodbye to Gutenberg: Welcome to the Real-time, Two Way Tsunami”. Robert walked us through the history of how data is created, how it is disseminated and how evolving information dissemination technologies from clay tablets to Guttenberg’s printing press to today’s digital menagerie has, and continues to impact social evolution. Some of the more interesting points he made were:

  • Erick Schmidt, CEO of Google is quoted as saying that, “every 2 days we (Google) have created as much information as we did up to 2003”.
  • Entertainment industry is looking at the integration of computer, telephone and telephone.
  • In 2000 there was 30K surveillance cameras in the UK; in 2010 this increased to 500K.
  • For every 5 UK citizens there is 1surveilliance camera, a bit Orwellian.
  • Within one blocks radius of George Orwell’s house there are 25 surveillance cameras. (if that is not Orwellian what is?) 
  • Metadata will move from invisible to tangible and will be the catalyst for a slew of new age ventures.
Some other misc comments:
  • Facebook gathered 350M users in 36 months.
  • In June of 2010 Facebook had 500M users.
  • 2.5B photographs are uploaded to Facebook each month.
  • 30B photographs were uploaded to Facebook in 2010.
  • YouTube delivers over 1Bil streams/day.
  • 35 hours of video each minute is uploaded every minute to YouTube. According to IDC this equates to 9PB annually.
  • There are 2B views of YouTube each day. 
  • 60M iPhones and iTouches sold in 36 months.
A notable prediction from SpectraLogic is that next year tape sales will at worst be flat but they expect to see an uptick in shipments. Time will tell if there optimistic outlook will prove justified. However, the SSD bigots who gleefully declared the demise of the HDD should take a lesson from history. How many years have the HDD folks tried to relegate tape storage to the realms of antiquity but tape technology has stubbornly held onto a significant place in the storage hierarchy.
Prize comment was offered by Doreen Oren of SanDisk, “social media has overtaken pornography as the #1 web activity”. If true a very encouraging trend!

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