A couple of weeks ago I was in Santiago, Chile. I got in one day early, so I did what I usually do when I am traveling….I went to a record store. I usually try to look for something local that I can’t easily find at home in Atlanta, and Santiago did not disappoint. When I am in a record store in a foreign country, I try to find someone who speaks English to help guide me to interesting local music. It doesn’t matter the style, it just needs to be interesting. I am what you might refer to as “a music nerd.” I might even be an audio nerd, since I own a lot of records that aren’t actually music. It is tough to describe NASA radio recordings on vinyl as music, but I still bought it and many more like it.
The resurgence of vinyl is interesting, especially as I grew up with cassette tapes and vinyl records. Like everyone else, I made the switch to CDs and then downloads, but there is something about going to a record shop and digging through crates that can’t be recreated on the Internet. Sometimes the stories that go with a record are as important as the music or sounds that are on it. As I go through my collection, pulling out a record takes me back to the place where I bought it. Listening to a record is also much more deliberate than listening to an MP3. Don’t get me wrong, I love my MP3 collection and listen to something every day, almost absent-mindedly sometimes. To listen to a record, I have to go to the shelves and pick something out, put it on the turntable, and put the needle on the vinyl. Then, I have to pay attention to when it is ending so I can prepare to flip it over. This is deliberate listening, or mindful if you are up on the popular terms.
What does this have to do with data storage? Well, not much really. I could try to be clever and spin this into a story about storing old media vs. new media. Or, I could make something up about how object storage is like vinyl: we had it for a while and everyone decided to move on to something easier…now it is back again, and for a generation of people it is “new and different.”
Really, it is about choosing the right medium for the task at hand. Vinyl is what you listen to when you want to experience the music and choose quality over quantity. MP3s are what you use when you need quantity, and sometimes even variety. So where does that leave object storage, the thing I should be writing about? Well, just like vinyl, object storage is back and it solves a real problem…managing the explosive growth of data. But, just like MP3s, object storage also gives you access to quantity and can live in the background without having to think about it.
Object storage can make a big difference for your environment. Unlimited scalability, easier management, flexible connectivity, and efficient data protection. We are back to the future, and it is much better this time.
By the way, this blog post comes from a hotel in Paris…. where I have a meeting with a record store on my free day.