Its always something of a wow moment to realize just how established the ITand, by definition, the storageindustries are. A handful of recent examples reminded me of this. Many of you, like me, may have seen the movie The Help [if you have not, it’s about the lot–although “little” might be a better word!–of African-American servants in the South in the 50s and 60s.] Watching it is to appreciate an aspect of history and yet the modern IT industry that we inhabit was alive and well even as this history was continuing! Think of it like this: RAMAC, COBOL and the System/360 mainframe, amongst much else, all hail from that era.
Just a few days later, I was watching an ESPN biopic about the upbringing of Shannon Sharpe (as Im a diehard Broncos fan, its fun to relive something that reminds me of when we actually had a really good team!) Anyhow, Sharpe is younger than me, yet he grew upin this countryin a house without running water or indoor plumbing and that was in the 1970s and 80s! Its just a matter of perspective, of course although it was happening while things like virtual servers (as in IBMs MVS operating system), Cray supercomputers, 3380 disks, square tape cartridges, and even solid state disks were entering the IT space.
Of course, the social examples Ive used here were, thankfully, not representative of the norm for the majority of people in the US or the developed world. But, then again, nor were virtual computing platforms and solid state disks within IT: both burgeoning technologies right now! To that extent, there is more of a parallel with IT, as way back in the 60s and 70s it was still a very specialist tool, often at the margin of business and certainly not as integrated into all aspects of life as it is today. Its all a long time ago, yes, but its also all only yesterday. Bringing this together, I was reminded of something that I heard a few weeks back, when chatting with Michael Cornwell at Pure Storage: Michael wryly introduced himself as a second generation storage person. By this, he wasnt referring to the advanced nature of what hes been involved with at Pure (albeit true), but rather to the fact that hes the offspring of two parents that had spent much of their working lives in the disk drive business! Good old storage, eh!? Any third generation folks out there?