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September 2017, Vol. 16, No. 7

The power and benefits of encouraging IT disruption

I have a theory that true IT disruption happens when something nonlinear occurs to change the traditional expectation or baseline for a key operating capability. In storage, this could be related to capacity, performance or value. We've seen great market disruption -- not to mention data center evolution -- with the rise of scale-out vs. scale-up storage architectures, flash vs. disk and big data analytics vs. data warehouse business intelligence, for example. These disruptions have all brought orders of magnitude improvement, enabling many new ways to distill more value out of data. I'm not saying we leave disrupted technologies completely behind, but old top-tier technologies can quickly drop down our perceptual pyramids of perceived value. Some older techs do disappear -- think floppy drives and CRT monitors. But usually, they get subsumed as a lower tier inside a larger, newer umbrella and relegated to narrower, less prestigious use cases. Emerging disruptive storage technologies include nonvolatile memory express ...

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