Is the Google Car the Future of Storage?
by Claus Mikkelsen on Oct 10, 2012
Well, I think it is. In school, I majored in Analogies (with a double minor in Metaphors and Euphemisms) so I think the comparison is very appropriate, and something I’ve spoken much about (those of you having to sit through my diatribes of late will get the connection).
For those of you that don’t know, the Google Car is a “driverless” car. Actually, it does require a driver but the driver is not required to do anything. In California now (as in Nevada and Hawaii), these cars have been promoted from “experimental” status to legal as of this bill signing by our governor Jerry Brown, this week.
I’ve run into them (not literally!) a few times on Bay Area freeways and I find them fascinating. As you can see in the picture, there is a cylinder on the roof that rotates at 10 RPM to sense road conditions and adjusts driving appropriately. It apparently also reads the posted speed limit road signs—something I am still learning to do.
So what does this have to do with storage? One word: Automation. I not only speak about the history of storage, but the future of storage as well. I talk about how our “storage computer” absorbs tasks that we mere humans have done in the past. I talk about how we’re beginning to automate performance with Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning and disk tier selection with Hitachi Dynamic Tiering. I also talk about how LUNs are being turned into simply “containers” for data and will lose all sense of physicality. Do we have a fully automated storage environment today? No; but we are getting closer and at some point (drumroll, please, here comes the obvious analogy) storage will be the equivalent of the Google Car.