By Brian Feller
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them." Isaac Asimov
For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the most critical element to the success of any business was a simple equation: Location. Location. Location. Businesses lived or died based on their ability to select an optimal geographical area. In the first century of corporate Darwinism, those enterprises that controlled the highly trafficked areas with excellent lines of site attracted net-new clients and survived. Those that did not went the way of the Tucker, Wachovia and Commodore.
With the flipping of the centurial calendar, this underlying ingredient of achievement has segued from one of physical space to a much more binary algorithm: Data. Data. Data. He who has it (faster, broader) wins. Period. The magnitude of today’s data is growing at a scale that would make even Mr. Moore and his law gasp – yet is arguably exceeded by the enterprise’s need to access it anywhere, anytime. However, similar to how the U.S.’ highway infrastructure was built to accommodate about 1/20th the amount of daily traffic it actually supports, this has created a major performance gap that has seen hard drive-based storage systems lag behind advancements in Random Access Memory (RAM) and processors.