Storage Trends and Trivia

Posted: January 13, 2013

Storage Trends and Trivia

The Storage Visions Conference, produced by Coughlin & Associates, is a two-day conference held annually just before CES in Las Vegas. This is an opportunity for vendors in the high-end storage and enterprise market to get get together and report on their latest discoveries in technology. The 2013 edition was last week and I spent a day wandering about.

For me, the fun part was the small exhibit area outside the conference itself. I spent the day interviewing vendors for the Digital Production Buzz, as well as learning more about the technology we depend upon every day.

Here are some highlights.


During my visit, I discovered a DVD/Blu-ray technology this is reputed to last for decades because instead of burning small holes into organic media, this DVD retains its data by etching stone.

Listen my interview with Doug Hansen of MDisc.


As I was walking by the booths, a sign caught my eye: Radically Simple Media Management. I figured it was a typo.

Instead, I learned it referred to a brand-new and affordably-priced media management system called Axel. If you are looking for easier ways to track and locate your media, you need to hear this.

Listen my interview with Sam Bogoch of Axel Video.


One of the highlights of the Conference was talking to the folks from Drive Savers about how they go about saving a crashed hard disk.

Listen to my interview with Chris Bross, DriveSavers.


SSD drives deliver serious speed, but at a high cost both in terms of dollars and total capacity.

In talking with the folks at Toshiba, who are one of the three principal companies that make hard drives, I learned a variety of interesting facts:

  • There is an inverse relationship between speed and capacity. The faster the drive delivers data – either as an SSD or high-rotational-speed hard disk – the less capacity it will have; assuming both devices cost the same amount of money.
  • Assuming you have a fast connection between your hard drive and computer – for example, Thunderbolt, Fibre Channel or eSATA, the faster your hard disk rotates, the faster it can deliver data to your computer.
  • A 7200 RPM drive can hold more data than a 15,000 RPM drive.
  • A hard drive does not lose its magnetic data when stored on a shelf, unplugged. (This contradicts information about this that I was given a couple of years ago.) However, leaving a drive unplugged for a long period of time can cause problems with lubrication sticking.
  • The key factor that determines performance for a RAID is not the speed of the hard disks, but the speed of the RAID controller built into the device. While hard drives from the same manufacturer are often used in storage products from multiple vendors, RAID controllers are generally proprietary to the storage vendor creating the RAID.
  • The latest buzz word in storage is “tiering.” This rates storage on a sliding scale of speed vs. capacity. While terms like RAID Levels are clearly defined and established, tiering is pretty squishy and means whatever the marketing department for a company wants it to mean.

And, just to prove the high-end of the market is still there, most of the storage vendors at the Conference where showing products that ranged from $20,000 to $150,000.


And, no, we still don’t have any reasonably priced archiving solutions with the storage capacities needed by media professionals. I checked on this during the show.

I want to say thank you to Tom Coughlin, President of Coughlin & Associates, for the invitation to attend.


3 Comments to “Storage Trends and Trivia”
  1. Tangier Clarke says:

    Thank for this update Larry. I work in an environment where we don’t have the budget to support LTO or similar storage. We write to hard drives in pairs always, use NeoFinder to archive them, and dump Final Cut 7/ Adobe Premiere editorial logging info to a Filemaker Database so we can search what we have. That being said it frustrates me so bad that there’s no way of getting the data out of FCP X as that’s now our primary NLE. At least I haven’t found one yet that allows me to dump the logging (or in this case tagging info) to some database, or rather to a .txt batch file and then import in FIlemaker the way we do. Managing drives can get cumbersome and trusting others not to mess up something on them even more so.

    I am certainly looking forward to storage on 1 and 2 TB SDXC when the prices come down.

Your thoughts are welcome


Larry Jordan & Associates, Inc
Video Editor
Experience Revolutionary Video Editing Techniques Through Final Cut Pro X Tutorials, Adobe Video Editing Classes, Final Cut Pro Classes, & A Variety of Other Software! Larry Jordan, Internationally - Renowned With 35+ Years Experience, Delivers Final Cut Pro Training & Other Software Via Live Webinars, Hosts Internet Radio, Podcasts, & More!
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