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Vol. 6 No. 4 June 2007

Storage Bin: It's time to change the way you think about data

Once you realize that not all data is transactional, you can begin to manage it more intelligently. Last month I explained my theory of why we're so screwed up infrastructure-wise or at least how we got to this point. This month I'll try to show you the way out of the situation. For a few minutes, forget everything you know or at least everything you think you know. Accept my argument that almost everything we've done in commercial IT has been based on transactional requirements. Open your mind. There are two distinct types of data: dynamic and persistent. Dynamic data is in flux; this is where transactional data begins. Persistent data is fixed. It's what it is and will never be anything else. Just because data is dynamic doesn't mean it starts and dies within an RDBMS. Structured database data starts as dynamic, but at some point it becomes a nonchanging record. It's persistent. You may have reasons to keep it inside a database forever (although I doubt they're valid ones), but those records are still persistent; they are what...

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