Last issue I wrote a serious article about cloud storage, the future of storage for oil and gas data, and the death of tape.
Since then I have been neck deep in thought about what this all means. Not just thought, but modelling, examination, and theory testing. I have the bug, and this bug is not something you just take a tablet for and have a good sleep. This bug is nasty. It comes with breathing difficulties, sleep deprivation, itchy scalp, heart palpitations, difficulties concentrating, stress-related skin irritation, and bowel dysfunction. Significantly increased caffeine intake seems to be the only thing that holds it at bay, and even that is only temporary.
It is so odd to be witnessing something so rare, important, and life changing, when everyone around me is just going about their usual business – no skin irritation or bowel dysfunction to report, happy to go about doing it the way they have always done it. Tape zombies, tape drones, tape followers, tape cronies, tape users, tape addicts not looking for a better high, tape status quo junkies, same-same tape jockeys, essentially tape losers.
The fact that I was the only one who seemed to care about this ‘cloud thing’ was emphasised last week at 3 am when I was sitting in my front garden quietly thinking through the implications of the cloud. Thinking about its many manifestations and uses, its many paths (short cuts) to glory, and its many irritatingly simple efficiencies when compared to tape, when my neighbour apparently thought that taking out his garbage was a good idea.
The rabble of the bin wheels along the footpath distracted me from my storage panacea. I was enraged (not so much because of the interruption, but mainly because it was also a recycling day and my son only put out one of the bins).
But did my neighbour have any idea what was going on inside my head at that moment? Did he know that the interruption of my thought process could well be the reason that the future of storage never unfolds, never delivers on its many promises, and never really arrives in any way shape or form for anyone, ever? Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but what was he thinking? How is a man to concentrate with all of these bins rolling up and down the street?
Despite all the negatives of the bin incident, there was also one significant positive. That positive was that I saw in that very moment, while my neighbour was struggling to rotate the bin to face the right direction in the thick uncut grass of his lawn, that I was very much alone in my thinking. And that aloneness made me feel special. I was the only one who knew, who understood, and who cared about the single most important event to occur in my generation – the death of tape and the birth of its prodigal son – the cloud.
Like the assassination of Kennedy or the attack on Pearl Harbour, I will always remember where I was the day tape died. I was in my front garden, it was the second Tuesday of the month, it was 3 am in the morning, a recycling day, a day just like any other – with the exception of one thing – I knew something no one else did.