Not sci-fi: A world where storage devices never fail

Free your mind from the shackles of the now, and picture how storage will look in the year 2023

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That's the tip of the iceberg -- a stepping-stone on the path to storage that is so plentiful, reliable, and ubiquitous as to disappear from the mind of the general computing public. Worrying about hard drive failure will seem as quaint as worrying about a fold in your 5.25-inch floppy.

Think of it this way: 10 years ago, nearly all hard drives sold were SCSI or PATA disks. SATA drives were introduced in 2003. It wasn't until 2005 that we saw the first 500GB disk, the Hitachi 7K500, coming in at around $350. The same bread will get you a 4TB Hitachi disk today, a drive that is not only five times larger but exceptionally faster. Of course, $350 today will also get you a 500GB SSD. Assuming there are no blocking problems along the way, extrapolating that out another decade brings us to at least the post-SSD era, but more likely, even further. After all, the computing world was abuzz with the notion of 120MB hard drives in 1993.

Finally, there's the notion that if we have enough bandwidth, none of it matters. While broadband is still not nearly as fast as it could be, we have some residential broadband connections that are many times faster (asymmetrically, however) than the fastest LAN of less than 20 years ago. We've even made our first real strides toward residential gigabit Internet connections. If we can finally get to a place where most Internet connections are symmetric, or at least capable of reasonable upstream bandwidth, then remote storage becomes much closer and further blurs the lines between local and remote. This is true both for the consumer and for IT infrastructures.

If we consider the past to be prologue, then we should believe storage advancements over the next 10 years will be more revolutionary than the last 10. We don't have much choice.

This story, "Not sci-fi: A world where storage devices never fail," was originally published at Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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