I’ve finally had to admit that the passion that drove StorageMojo for over a decade – and to a peak Google PageRank of 7 – is spent.
While I look forward to observing the changes in the world of storage and computing that will be, I have no doubt, even greater in the next 10 years than they’ve been in the last 30, I won’t be commenting on them.
When I began StorageMojo a little more than 13 years ago, I wasn’t happy with high margin world of enterprise storage. We’re transitioning to a digital society, and for that society to grow and prosper, we need digital storage that is as good as book printed on acid-free paper. With a couple of exceptions – mainly M-Disc – we are nowhere near that goal. One blast of a solar flare – like the one in the 1850s that was so powerful that it set some telegraph offices on fire – and all of our efforts to digitize our culture will be lost.
But the merry band of storage vendors that dominated storage in 2006 is not so merry anymore – and that’s a good thing. Multiple commodity hardware-based, highly automated, super scale-out storage solutions (Quobyte and Scality, among others, leap to mind) exist today that were hardly imaginable back then. And, of course, the cloud has flatlined traditional enterprise storage growth.
Looking back, I started StorageMojo at a propitious time, catching the wave of scale-out storage, SSDs, advanced erasure codes, and cloud, where intelligent commentary was eagerly consumed, and advertising was still a useful adjunct for a one-man consultancy. Times were good, and the Great Recession was something I only read about.
Thinking about the past
Paradoxically, given my long term focus on the future, the immediate cause of my ennui around technology is in the past. For the last three and half years I’ve been working on a historical novel set in the antebellum South. I was a history major long ago, but I had never studied the problem of slavery in America, or the run up to the Civil War. But that is exactly the era my novel is set in and I have found my research and writing to be fascinating – as absorbing to me today as storage was 13 years ago – perhaps even more so.
The story is based on people – free and enslaved – who actually lived. We have some fairly voluminous documentation (yay books!) about some of them, including the bill of sale for 18 year old Sally, purchased by a wealthy plantation owner in 1838 to be his concubine. The psychodynamics of the planter, his wife, his concubines, and their lovers, is occupying my imagination as much, or perhaps even more, than technology ever has. In the process I’ve learned much about history and the pathology of American racism.
I’ve written over 125,000 words, much of which I’ve had to discard as my conception of the novel has evolved. But my enthusiasm for the project is undimmed, even though I suspect I will spend another three years or so before I complete it. Then comes the hunt for a publisher – if I go that way – and then the even harder work of marketing it.
The StorageMojo take
I feel good about the contributions I’ve made to the storage industry over the last 30 years or so. And I feel good about moving on. Also, I’ll continue to write for ZDNet for some time, so I’m not entirely leaving the game yet.
While I’ve been wrong many times – the price of making concrete predictions – I also believe I got most of the major things right. More importantly though, is the light I shined on new and emerging technologies, encouraging their proponents and educating the interested.
I’ll leave StorageMojo up for some years to come, so those who are interested can judge for themselves. Monthly uniques peaked at over 100,000, but today I’m guessing a couple of thousand is the maximum. Writing for StorageMojo has been fun and satisfying. Now it’s time for the next chapter.
Thanks for all who read, wrote, and supported StorageMojo over the years. I couldn’t have done it without you!
President & Chief Analyst
StorageMojo.com – (onetime) Top 10 IT analyst blog
ZDNet: blogs.zdnet.com/storage/ – (onetime) Top 15 IT analyst blog
Courteous comments welcome, of course.