It is tempting to think of storage as a game of hard disk drives, and consider only The Rule of Spindles. But RAM cache can compensate for the mechanical limitations of hard disk drives, and Moore’s Law continues to allow for ever-greater RAM-based storage, including cache, DRAM, and flash. But storage does not exist in a vacuum. All that data must go somewhere, and this is the job of the I/O channel.
Change is not a word normally associated with storage, and revolution is practically unheard of. Today’s modern enterprise storage systems and networks employ massive resources to do one simple thing: Emulate the basic hard disk drives used over three decades ago. But cracks are appearing in our mausoleum of fake disks: Application developers are discovering the value of object storage, and storage systems are appearing to support this need.
Overland Storage is showing intriguing signs of life. Once relegated to OEM tape library duty, Overland received an injection of cash and (more importantly) talent this year. Now the company is stepping up the technology behind their SnapServer NAS array by acquiring scale-out file storage company, MaxiScale. They intend to bring the scalable capacity and performance normally associated with enterprise and high-performance computing systems to the mass market.