Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Henry Newman's Farewell Column

Henry Newman has been writing a monthly column on storage technology for Enterprise Storage Forum for 12 years, and he's decided to call it a day. His farewell column is entitled Follow the Money: Picking Technology Winners and Losers and it starts:
I want to leave you with a single thought about our industry and how to consistently pick technology winners and losers. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my 34 years in the IT industry: follow the money.
Its an interesting read. Although Henry has been a consistent advocate for tape for "almost three decades", he uses tape as an example of the money drying up. He has a table showing that the LTO media market is less than half the size it was in 2008. He estimates that the total tape technology market is currently about $1.85 billion, whereas the disk technology market it around $35 billion.
Following the money also requires looking at the flip side and following the de-investment in a technology. If customers are reducing their purchases of a technology, how can companies justify increasing their spending on R&D? Companies do not throw good money after bad forever, and at some point they just stop investing.
Go read the whole thing and understand why Henry's regular column will be missed, and how perceptive the late Jim Gray was when in 2006 he stated that Tape is Dead, Disk is Tape, Flash is Disk.

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