In the world of John Elfreth Watkins, an American futurologist who lived at the end of the nineteenth century, if you wanted to preserve information for future generations, you wrote it down or printed it.   But since the turn of the century, HP has already shipped enough capacity on its HP LTO Ultrium cartridges to be the equivalent of a paper stack 600,000,000 miles high.  That’s about one third of the whole tape market.  Clearly, businesses need a different approach than one involving a tower of data that would span the Solar System!

This is a trend driven by both publishers and consumers as Eric Slack of @StorageSwitzerland has written in a recent blog:

Digital content (videos, images and audio assets) is becoming more common in regular corporate data sets to support social media and a consumer preference for videos, infographics and animation.

Storage vendors, large and small, are bringing to market a plethora of new products that help businesses receive, sort, de-duplicate, prioritise and archive structured and unstructured data.  That data is “the life-blood of the business” is almost a cliché these days.  Increasingly, companies need to understand how and where that data circulates, which vital organs and functions it has to support.  Just as in the human body, some elements are more important than others.  The brain needs to receive oxygen at all times, a fingernail less so.  Likewise, a transactional database supporting real time order processing is more important than a three year old spreadsheet required for an audit.  For sure, both are needed, but there is a clear hierarchy of prioritisation/business impact.

HP Storage solutions now align themselves alongside these priorities to provide the right balance of performance, cost, size, scalability and flexibility.  HP believes businesses shouldn’t be confronted with restrictive choices based on what a vendor chooses to sell.  HP Storage options are becoming broader even as they are converging, becoming more integrated.  This means using the right technology for the right task, rather than having to make an ‘either/or’ decision.  My colleague, Anirudh Srinivasan has written about this in a post called ‘Still Better Together’.  The HP Storage portfolio includes:

  • high performance disk arrays such as the HP 3Par StoreServ for mission critical information that needs to be protected and available at all times.
  • lower cost federated storage, such as HP StoreOnce with StoreOnce Catalyst, for de-duplication, retention and reasonably fast access to operational data.
  • private or public cloud options using SaaS to make certain types of data accessible across corporate networks.
  • intelligent archiving solutions, such as HP StoreAll,  that can locate and make coherent, huge amounts of data to create new business opportunities and fresh appreciation of their commercial value
  • and for the archiving of almost limitless quantities of old, unused and unstructured information, retained for legislation, compliance or ‘just in case’ there is value in future analysis, there is HP StoreEver tape.

Next time, we’ll look in detail at the expanding digital universe into which the HP Storage portfolio now boldly goes.  It’s life, John Elfreth Watkins, but not as you knew it!