As an unapologetic sports nut and tech nerd, I love it when these worlds collide. This is exactly what happened while watching my football team play this Sunday when they aired a highlight of the team from 2000. We were instantly shocked by the quality of the video, which was standard definition. It’s amazing how quickly we get used to disruptive technology advances that become part of our everyday lives. It’s easy to forget now, but the introduction and adoption of HDTV circa 2001 was arguably the most impactful technological advance since color television programming first aired in 1953.
As both an AV and IT nerd, what especially struck me here is the parallel in the evolution of television and enterprise storage technology. The transition from SD (e.g 480i) to HD (e.g. 1080p) is much like the transition from HDD to SSD (don’t mind the similar acronyms!) in enterprise storage. In both cases, this shift has provided dramatic benefits to consumers and has created a new normal. We will never go back to spinning disk for enterprise storage and when is the last time you watched any of those hundreds of standard definition channels? In fact, if your cable company is like mine, SD channels went away years ago to clear bandwidth for even more HD channels.
Which brings me to the fun part… what’s next? The next wave in TV technology, if you believe all the major manufacturers, is 4K… however, this nerd is skeptical (but that’s a different blog for a different day). When it comes to enterprise storage, the industry buzz about ‘NVMe’ is escalating. But let’s revisit our TV analogy to examine each of these “next evolutions” a bit more closely. (more…)