Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Virtualization, Consumers, Networks, No Spin

A small company of 9 people called 37signals.com has a base of over 2,000,000 customers using one of their lead collaborative products. The company's excelled at "Goldilocks" design:not burdening software products with too much function.

From their blog at http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/749-ask-37signals-numbers

Overall storage stats (Nov 2007)
  • 5.9 terabytes of customer-uploaded files
  • 888 GB files uploaded (900,000 requests)
  • 2 TB files downloaded (8,500,000 requests)

They're going Xen, and reducing the number of servers by a little more than half.

What's more: they're a poster child for Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Now, there's Google moving in this storage space, plus new players in the scrum, such as Nirvanix, and the Cleversafe, and who knows what that could be spun out from projects like (US) National LambdaRail.


For a current project, looking to use "in the cloud" storage to host multimedia consumer "objects" and also musing upon the potential of little gadgets like iPod Touch to hold 10 hours of video with a price tag for the "1.0" of $300 US (which is, I think, about 80 Loonies this week). Since there's going to be a goat rodeo in producing content and control mechanisims for versioning and etc..... it becomes likely that we'll serve the content itself on an external network.

I'm lobbying for the Storage as a Super Hierarchy (wait for it: StaaSH) involving nothin' but net.

Life's too short.


Meanwhile, I keep looking at virtualization, and virtual tape. Spoke with a friend or two, and the interactivity of virtualization and de dupe starts to get interesting. I'm also of the opinion that no one would by choice run down the road of short tape for their application given the (wave hands) shifting cost curves of spinning drives, and especially considering the growth of solid state drives (I know, I know....) but in recognition also of nano tech showing up in what now..... 14 months.

So, my conjecture is that if one approached the problem set as a greenfield exercise, the pressure's very much in favor of non removable, and probably, non spinning media sooner rather than later. I'd be very interested in anyone's "fully burdened" cost analysis of this tech over time.

We used to have pizza boxes and pickles in the data center.....

No Spin

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