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July 2014 Vol. 13 No. 5

Deconstructing the storage algorithm

James Harvey Robinson, the American historian, once said, "Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do." I'm reminded of this quote at many of the events I attend, especially when I'm asked to make sense of industry analyst projections about storage trends. To wit: Is it true that SANs are heading for a SAN-pocalypse, to be replaced by "server-side virtual SAN [VSAN] configurations and software-defined storage, as the Wikibon folks assert?" If it's true that storage capacity demand is exploding behind virtual servers, as IDC and Gartner suggest, why aren't sales of disk drives and storage arrays exploding too, rather than shrinking? Will solid-state storage really replace all hard disk storage within the next couple of years? What about cloud storage? Generally, I try to avoid addressing these kinds of questions, since most folks are afflicted with confirmation bias, and they almost always want the numbers to add up a certain way. If I take a position that jibes with ...

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