WHEN physicists switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), between three and six gigabytes of data spew out of it every second. That is, admittedly, an extreme example. But the flow of data from smaller sources than CERN, the European particle-research organisation outside Geneva that runs the LHC, is also growing inexorably. At the moment it is doubling every two years. These data need to be stored. The need for mass storage is reviving a technology which, only a few years ago, seemed destined for the scrapheap: magnetic tape.
Tape is the oldest computer storage medium still in use. It was first put to work on a UNIVAC computer in 1951. But although tape sales have been falling since 2008 and dropped by 14% in 2012, according to the Santa Clara Consulting Group, tape’s decline has now gone into reverse: sales grew by 1% in the last quarter of 2012 and a 3% rise is expected this year.
The M-disc team has done digital civilization a real service by building a reliable digital archive medium that is cheap - M-discs are available online for just over $2 each in bulk - tough, and widely usable with current technology.
I've been scanning hundreds of family photos and am putting together archive discs of those and other documents for my family. Until the M-disc I wouldn't have bothered because there was no trustworthy media to put them on. Now I believe there is.
Is the M-disc technology perfect? No. Only about a dozen LG burners are certified to write M-discs, although other burners may be able to. Another catch: M-discs may not be readable by every DVD player. I didn't find it to be a problem with my Apple Superdrive or LG Blu-ray player, but Millenniata engineers noted that it could happen. But given the ubiquity of DVD and Blu-ray readers I don't think that is much of a problem: if one doesn't work, try another.
"We have brought the storage into the cluster, and we have
commoditized it," says Ting, and this is why the US government,
financial services firms, healthcare companies, and educational
institutions are running a lot of proofs of concepts with the NX-3000
series of appliances.
About 25 per cent of the iron is going to Uncle Sam, which is in many
cases putting server clusters into vehicles to get image and signal
processing at command posts or into the field in Humvees, in some cases.
Virtual desktop infrastructure was the obvious early-use case for
Nutanix machines, and it is still driving a lot of deals, but Ting says
the company is seeing companies dump Microsoft workloads such as
Exchange Server and SQL Server on the boxes, and has just closed a deal
this month with a Global 2000-class company for 1,500 server nodes to
run an analytics workload."
Megapixel cameras (like those from Arecont Vision in video below) are already at work around the world in large and small applications in every vertical market. Some examples include
A major grocery distribution center in the United States that uses a 20-megapixel, 180-degree day/night panoramic megapixel camera to provide a complete view of its property.
In South Korea, a single 2-megapixel camera is being used to cover three lanes of traffic and deliver the resolution required for license plate recognition analytics across all three lanes.
A jewelry retailer in Mexico uses a handful of megapixel cameras versus a dozen or more conventional cameras to monitor jewelry showcases and restricted areas in the store office and workshop.
In Hawaii, megapixel cameras are part of an overall effort to protect tourism by supporting public safety. Several factors are converging to make megapixel technology an increasingly mainstream component in video surveillance systems worldwide.
The growing video feeds are also pushing new paths in storage and analytics as this article from the same issue details
Now that many organizations have experience with deploying and managing large numbers of cameras, Caswell says they are beginning to investigate how video data can be used for more than just forensic purposes (e.g. using video as evidence or for prosecution purposes). The next step in the evolution of surveillance systems includes using video to provide a realtime indication of what is happening. "This involves video analytics," Caswell says. "If you have a camera on a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) line at an airport, for example, you can predict that all of the pixels should be moving the same way. If you see pixels going the other way or in an unusual arrangement, you can analyze those and send alerts. You look at the aberrations."
A CEO gushing about his own product does not impress, but some of the figures tied to Dropbox’s growth do. Each day, Dropbox customers store 1 billion files. The company more or less has to help duplicate a digital version of the Library of Congress every day. By comparison, Twitter has about 140 million people issuing 500 million or so tweets on a daily basis. “But at Dropbox, it’s not 140-character snippets,” says Houston. “It’s your tax returns and your most important stuff.”
“DNA contains genetic instructions written in a simple but powerful code made up of four chemicals called bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T).
The Harvard researchers started with the digital version of the book, which is composed of the ones and zeros that computers read. Next, on paper, they translated the zeros into either the A or C of the DNA base pairs, and changed the ones into either the G or T.
Then, using now-standard laboratory techniques, they created short strands of actual DNA that held the coded sequence—almost 55,000 strands in all. Each strand contained a portion of the text and an address that indicated where it occurred in the flow of the book.
In that form—a viscous liquid or solid salt—a billion copies of the book could fit easily into a test tube and, under normal conditions, last for centuries, the researchers said”
“A data repository almost 10 times bigger than any made before is being built by researchers at IBM's Almaden, California, research lab. The 120 petabyte "drive"—that's 120 million gigabytes—is made up of 200,000 conventional hard disk drives working together. The giant data container is expected to store around one trillion files and should provide the space needed to allow more powerful simulations of complex systems, like those used to model weather and climate.”
President Bush is leaving behind 100 terabytes of electronic data.
"To put that in
perspective, all the books, manuscripts, publications and recordings of
various kinds stored in the Library of Congress over the past 208 years adds up to 82.6 terabytes.
Archives officials estimate that the Bush administration is leaving
behind 50 to 100 times more digital data than the Clinton
administration. Given eight years, the Obama administration is expected
to shatter Bush's record."
The Kingston Mobility Kit packages a MicroSD card (typically needed for phones and PDAs) and adapters to allow to use with MiniSD (used with many digital cameras) and full-size SD readers and USB ports (on a laptop).
Earlier in the year I got a 2 GB set for about $ 25.(you can also get a 4 GB HC version for $ 35) Makes it easy to move music, photos, videos, documents across most gadgets, though the USB adapter makes you wish for your own set of "nano-fingers"
Time to throw away old floppies, CDs, USB "jump drive" sticks...
"developed over the last five years by a group of
artificial-intelligence researchers at the company’s Microsoft Research
laboratories. It is an ambitious attempt to apply machine-learning
techniques to the problem of traffic congestion. The system is intended
to reflect the complex traffic interactions that occur as traffic backs
up on freeways and spills over onto city streets."