Look At That Stuff – Storage folks made it through last year – just barely – delivering enough capacity that just met everyone’s/everything’s needs. But man if you look out on the horizon – and beyond – it looks hairy. Even having people working round the clock the content tsunami will just keep boring down on us.

Content Insider #108 – The Perfect Storm

The Insider

October 2008

Content Insider #108 – The Perfect Storm

Author: The Insider

Look At That Stuff – Storage folks made it through last year – just barely – delivering enough capacity that just met everyone’s/everything’s needs.   But man if you look out on the horizon – and beyond – it looks hairy.  Even having people working round the clock the content tsunami will just keep boring down on us. 

“We got Hurricane Grace moving north off the Atlantic seaboard. Huge... getting massive. Two, this low south of Sable Island, ready to explode. Look at this. Three, a fresh cold front swooping down from Canada. But it's caught a ride on the jet stream... and is motoring hell-bent towards the Atlantic.”TV Meteorologist, The Perfect Storm (Warner Bros, 2000) - Photo – Warner Bros


You’ve got your office wired/wireless network, your home network, your multimedia notebook system, your TV and PVR, your MP3 (ok iPod) player, got your digital camera/camcorder, got your everything smartphone.
 

Life is pretty good !
 
Why do you feel a little uneasy then?
 
Why are IT people sweating more bullets than a bank officer?
 
Maybe it’s too much of a good thing.
 
Phone, camera, computer, software, content development folks are packing more power, more features, more capabilities into their products at ridiculously low prices.
 
Internet connectivity now spans the globe. 
 
Broadband service is found in more and more homes. In five years the number of homes with broadband worldwide will triple and by then more than two million people will be on the Internet (the rest will be on their phones). 
 

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Big Pipes –
Content streamed over the Internet (or Web 2.0 as some call it) requires some high volume transport lines.  The market is growing for online video viewing.  The U.S. dropped to number 16 in broadband to the home service around the globe.  Source – eMarketer
 
Good and bad content is available and is being viewed/downloaded in lieu of other entertainment. 
 
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Anytime Viewing –
Unlike conventional TV, Internet content viewing doesn’t live by a program guide.  Users can watch or download shows when they want and where they want.  More and more people like the idea of entertainment on their own terms.  Photo -- NY Times
 
Every day more than 100 million YouTube videos are streamed to viewers around the globe. 
 
Every network and TV station is offering online video content.  People turn to the Web regularly for their news, music videos, TV shows, sports and “other” content. 
 
Download video and IPTV viewing is starting to worry network and Hollywood executives because they can’t quite figure out how to monetize the situation.  If TV is a break from the real world lots of people are “discovering” really good entertainment from yesteryear.  
 
Who can forget Hawaii Five-O or Gilligan’s Island or MASH or Bonanza or… ? 
 
There are also great shows from around the globe that country TV networks and local stations don’t think you’ll be interested in but they’re ggoooddd!!!
 
Tellywood is working hard to ensure its moneymaker rides out the storm and they’ve been barking orders just as Alex McAnally did, “We're gonna ride this thing out, not for fun, for safety. Do what I've always done: go with the flow.”
 
In addition to all the downloadable video content we’ve put too many really fun, really storage sucking toys in people’s hands that are swelling the storage requirements.
 
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Content Overload –
Personal, online and professional video is increasing everywhere on the Web and people can’t get enough.  We download, copy, repurpose and share video across town and around the globe.  Source – Coughlin Assoc
 
DVDs hold roughly 6GB. 
 
BDs hold 25-50GB. 
 
More than 500 million digital TVs will be in use by 2011.
 
Five MP cameras produce 40MB uncompressed images.  A new camera was announced (obviously for pros or braggarts) that captures 50MP or 400MB uncompressed images. 
 
By 2011 more than three billion camphones will be in use and they’ll be capturing billions of digital photo/video content.
 
The demand for personal storage devices (external HDs) seems insatiable.  By 2011 the demand for these units will equal desktop PCs as people realize preserving irreplaceable heirlooms is vital!
 
We’re carrying more storage with us every day in the forms of mobile phones, iPods, PDAs, GPSs, games, other CE products.
 
They all have integrated storage…and lots of it!
 
That may sound great if you’re a storage device supplier but for IT folks as Capt. Billy (George Clooney) said,  “No rest for the weary.”
 
That’s because regular folks may produce 70 percent of the content but organizations are responsible for keeping 85 percent of content safe, secure, available. 
 
These professionals are responsible for most of the 281 Exabytes that are out there. 
 
And it isn’t just Tellywood’s stuff or your stuff.  They’ve got little things like RFID tag data to track, Twitters, security camera data (Britons estimate they are photographed 300 times a day and China has spent billions on video security systems for the Olympics). 
 
In addition to the growing chasm between content creation and storage, people have to worry about legal and regulatory requirements. 
 
As a result folks tend to look at the growing volumes, mumble as Moss did – “What in Jupiter's Balls?” -- and create, copy, replicate…just in case.
 
It’s no wonder our family runs through 500GB HDs and CDs/DVDs like they need them…they do.
 
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Stored for Tomorrow –
In addition to downloading and sharing content, individuals and families store it for later use or as reference.  Source – Diffusion Group
 
Ok so the numbers look a little over powering. 
 
Surprise!   It’s going to get worse.
 
We’ve got a lot of countries around the globe that are just getting Internet access.
 
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Spreading Web –
Broadband connectivity is widely available in industrial countries around the globe.  But there are a large number of developing countries that don’t have to upgrade their infrastructure they can go directly to broadband service placing an increasing demand on the network to deliver content to the home.  Source - eMarketer
 
Once they experience all of the content power they’re going to be as happy as Capt Billy, “The fog's just lifting. Throw off your bow line; throw off your stern. You head out to South channel, past Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island…Is there any thing better in the world?”
 
Ok but throw their content into the pond along with yours and everyone else’s and…
 
It’s no wonder that last year the storage shipments matched with the volume of storage needed. 
 
According to IDC in five years the volume of digital information created, captured, replicated worldwide will increase tenfold!
 
We’ll give you a clue the volume of available storage won’t come close to meeting demands.
 
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Capacity Soars –
Last year the storage industry – hard drives, optical, semiconductor and tape – was able to ship enough capacity to meet everyone’s needs.  In the years to come as content storage requirements increase six fold, none of the technologies alone and all of them combined will not be able to meet demand.  Source -- IDC
 
As Linda Greenlaw screamed over the radio,  “Billy? Get outta there! Come about! You're steaming into a bomb! Billy, can ya hear me? You're headed right for the middle of the monster! Billy?...”
 
Ok we’re not as bad off as Billy was…yet.  After all you can always take advantage of the newest storage concept that is in vogue – cloud computing.
 
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Cloud Storage –
Amazon, Google, IBM and hundreds of other service organizations make storage in the cloud sound enticing to say the least.  You may want to take a second look at the cloud.  Source -- NASA
 
Jeezz that looks real inviting !!!
 
What the heck.
 
A couple of external TB HDs…10 spindles of DVDR DL media…a life ring of flash memory…you’re good for a few more months.
 
But what about the rest of the boats in the rolling sea of content?
 
You’re not the only one creating, grabbing, storing, copying, distributing, sharing video clips, TV shows, songs, voice packets, financial records, sensor signals, emails, text messages, documents and lord knows what else.
 
And that’s only content on the surface.  As you gaze below the waves there are gazillions of bit buckets that hold all that content.
 
You have to find your way through the pitching bit buckets to the content you want/need. 
 
Desperately, almost futilely you search through the unstructured data – images, video clips, documents, database numbers/characters. 
 
Some days sailing just isn’t fun !!!
 
This is one of those days. 
 
Content, knowledge, information have outstripped our ability to store it. 
 
Most of that data is yours…and yours…and yours.
 
But enterprises ISPs, companies, financial institutions, governmental agencies have the task and responsibility to keep that content safe and secure for you.
 
What do they keep?
 
How long?
 
Where?
 
Why?
 
We’ve already passed the point of no return. 
 
Content and storage requirements are continuing to grow. 
 
The digital world is here. 
 
Exabytes and Zettabytes more of storage isn’t enough.
 
As Edie Bailey said, “This is a hurricane coming straight at us!”
 
Intelligent storage management is vital going forward.
 
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Lost Balance –
The combination of content plus folders and bit buckets to identify the content will swell demand as we look for spaces to stuff the stuff.  The biggest challenge will be the ability to intelligent manage and find specific content wherever it is stored.  Source -- IDC
 
As the TV commentator said, “You could be a meteorologist all your life... and never see something like this. It would be a disaster of epic proportions. It would be... the perfect storm.” 
 
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Rough Ride
– There is a mounting wave of content coming at us and it solely the concern of storage device manufacturers.  Individuals and IT management in organizations need to keep moving forward or be swamped.  Source – Warner Bros
 
All the industry has to do is figure out how to ride out the storm !!!

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