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December 2011

Solid-state goes mainstream

If a tech is judged by the products that crop up around it and the techs it spawns, then it’s hard to argue that solid-state storage hasn’t reached a certain level of maturity. There’s a great scene in Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story where Ralph and his buddies convince Flick to lick a metal flagpole on a cold, snowy day to disprove the old tale that a wet tongue will stick to cold metal. Of course, they end up proving that it’s actually true and Flick gets stuck to the flagpole, fire department racing to the scene. Being the first to do something, or succumbing to the dares of others and taking the first steps, can be pretty scary -- and the results can be unpredictable. But in the world of IT you do have a choice: You can play it safe and keep buying “traditional” technology from well-established vendors, or you can take a chance on a startup or some new-fangled technology. Solid-state storage was like that ice-cold flagpole, with lots of people looking at it and talking about it but not so many ready to make the leap. It’s ...

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