Tape is dead, long live on-line backup!

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Alas poor DLT I knew him well. He was a tape of infinite mirth backing up the data center and sitting in a box waiting always waiting.

Tape is dead.

Well, not dead as I suspect it will remain in use in large enterprises as a vehicle for long term storage.  But the device (tape drive) that once ruled the data center is dying. Of course the data center is changing as well.

We’ve come to define the processes of the data center (ITIL, ISO) and the people who build and design them (Infrastructure Architectures working with Enterprise Architects). We’ve made them virtual (but virtual does not equal cloud) and we’ve begun the push to cloud computing.

Today the cloud is all about cost savings. In fact, a full embrace of cloud computing could save the US Federal Government and many world governments, trillions of dollars (Billions in the US alone).

But like all new things, we are cautious. We should be, new can equal risk, but the time of cloud is coming. First, my long projected burp, and once the digestive juices have again settled and we are again ready to face the brave new world, then again the march to cloud.

The thing I spent my walk yesterday thinking about was the impact on consumers. I’ve been watching the consumer trend (Icloud, SkyDrive and Amazon cloud) that provides for services in the cloud. I am a consumer of many of those services as well as the On-line Backup service Carbonite (which rules by the way). The loss of data will eventually go away, as we backup everything to cloud services. The ability to use any device anywhere will continue to expand. But that is coming, today there is something missing, something that will remain missing until the world changes a little.

Applications.

Smart applications that are aware both of the user state (device) as well as the human state (what I need to act on). Application’s that flow easily from device to device (on the smaller screen present the data I need, on the larger screen present all the information). Adjust between laptops and desktops, tables and cell phones to produce a uniform device independent user experience.

Like tape, many modern applications will fade. The question is which will change in time to catch the tide?

.doc