Software // Information Management
Commentary
1/15/2008
07:30 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

A New Kind Of Apple Store

Even with Macworld in full swing this week, the confluence of Apple and storage isn't one of the more prominent threads emanating from the show. But this bit about using an iPhone to manage servers makes me think Apple may have missed the storage boat.

Even with Macworld in full swing this week, the confluence of Apple and storage isn't one of the more prominent threads emanating from the show. But this bit about using an iPhone to manage servers makes me think Apple may have missed the storage boat.That wouldn't exactly be a first for the company. Apple's interest in storage has been nominal, to put it charitably. Oh sure, there's Xserve RAID and Xsan for file sharing. Those products presumably do the trick for the high-volume storage in the media and video sectors where Apple plays most strongly.

But despite vendor claims that Xsan works in Windows, Unix, and Linux environments, don't look for the vendor to be grabbing market share from EMC, HP, or IBM any time soon. Still, Apple has proven it can compete in, even dominate, a commodity market like consumer audio. Why not enterprise storage?

While it's not the same technology being used in iPods, EMC in fact swam a bit in Apple's direction this week with the news that it will use flash-based solid state disk technology in its flagship Symmetrix arrays. That seemingly small signal of intent has set off the chattering masses big time, as storage vendors and OEMs try to sort out the economics and efficiency of smaller, cheaper storage and memory.

There's still room here for Apple innovation (or some end-user ingenuity). Why not daisy-chain a stack of iPhones together (via USB or one of three different wireless protocols) for on-the-fly backup that plays your YouTube favorites or snaps a photo of the disaster you're recovering from? They could call it the iPhone array of interconnected disks (iPAID).

It's not the sort of the solution that will put RAIDers and MAIDens on the run. It may not even end up in the top tier of stupid technology tricks. But it would be great to see some storage gear (management software or cool disk configurations) from a company with a proven track record in innovation. It would be the sexiest thing to hit storage in years.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.