It is that time of the year when predictions are big. We have seen them all. Now, I’m not going to get into all the details of why folks believe the world “will end” on 12/21/2012. To me, the basics come from, more or less, to some ideas that the Maya calendar ends and so hence then should the world. However, there is no hard, evidence that 12/21/12 has much meaning in the Maya calendar at all, nor did it proclaim that “we’re all doomed”.

But, let’s just pretend for a moment that the world is going to end on 12/21/12. Storage vendors around the world, unbeknownst to us, have been working Diligently on ways to prepare us in a post-apocalyptic digital world? Here are 5 predictions of what the new digital world may look like:

1) Western Digital and Seagate combine forces to develop a new type of disk drive. The theory being that as a part of the world ending, the Earth’s magnetic poles will flip. When this happens, a Blue Arc is created and all of the data on the disk platters will “jump off” and land on the disk platter below it. The new drives have heads that can read data on either platter. This way, if the Earth’s magnetic poles should ever flip back, we will not lose any data. In addition, as things in the universe become more stable, we will be able to read data from both sides of the platter, almost doubling the capacity of a single array. This really has the Promise to be a great new Technology. The stock for both companies is going through the roof as IT is rushing out to get the very important drives into their data center before 12/21/12.

2) The Sun’s darkest moon, Oracle, pass by each other directly over EMC headquarters in Hopkinton, MA and all of their galactic centers align causing such an explosion that all of the storage marketing FUD and storage acronyms become utterly obliterated forcing them to all talk about what their products do in the real world, not in “best case”, “clean room” scenarios. Unfortunately this puts a lot of the storage technology analysts such as IDC, and ESG as well as a number of the storage technology “fish wraps” (digital or otherwise) like The Register or Storage Magazine, in a very bad situation since there is a lot less FUD to try to spew.

3) In a bizarre twist of fate, 12/21/12 is also the Zombie Apocalypse. This is the day where the storage tweeters such as Storage Anarchist (@storageanarchy), Chuck Hollis (@chuckhollis), Storage Alchemist (@skenniston), Storagezilla (@storagezilla), Dave Vellante (@dvellante), and Marc Farley (@microfarley) all come out and turn into true data zombies, however, for these folks to stay alive, they have to eat all of the data they can get their hands onto. Most of these “data” zombies hail from the city of Micropolis and used to live by eating floppy drives. They are now much more advanced and can chew through your data, regardless of what medium it lives on, leaving nothing in their wake. You better have a good backup plan, these guys can eat. Backing your data up to the cloud is the safest bet. Amazon’s S3 has exploded with the number of registrations and is now moving as much data as possible to the cloud to protect it from the Zombie Apocalypse.

4) The moon, Panasas, is expected to collide with earth and when it does, all file based data will become merged into one, very large, file system. When this happens there will be a tsunami of redundant data that will be so large it may actually cause a sink hole in the filesystem itself. It will then give rise to another company who is working on a massive data deduplication project, reducing data hashes to their lowest common denominator. Permabit has been working on creating a data deduplication system that is so sophisticated that doesn’t even need the data. The reality is that every piece of data can be boiled down to a finite number of hash keys. If this is true, then one repository that held every key, could, in theory, reconstruct every piece of data on earth. The challenge now is how quickly can you reconstruct data when it is asked for? The trick, the folks at Permabit say, “it’s all about the meta data”.

5) Lastly, getting all of your data to others in a post-apocalyptic world is going to be challenging. Most of the networks will be down and it will be important to communicate to others to let them know how we are surviving. This will give rise to a new networking company called Sychronous Non-liner Extended Access Kappa-wave Error-correcting Reluctant Network, (SNEAKER Net for short). Until the new networks are up and running in full force, we expect SNEAKER Net to be slow and requiring a lot of vulcanized rubber to make it successful, but in time, we will be able to communicate with each other. This brings to question how tools suchas Facebook and Twitter will be able to help us. Another new application that will aid us in speaking with each other as SNEAKER Net becomes more available will be Selective Neuron Activated Information Locator Mail or SNAIL Mail for short. SNAIL Mail lets folks take the proper time to think about things before responding and telling the world how they will solve the problem. this is going to be important as we look to rebuild our planet.

Now, we all know that the world is not ending on 12/21/12, but if it did, it does give rise to some interesting new capabilities that could be useful in a post-apocalyptic world. Sometimes cleaning house can be good, starting over, fresh ideas. To quote the words of Toyota, kinda makes you “grounded to the ground”.

**editors note – this post is a farce and not to be taken seriously. None of the predictions or stock predictions made hear are real. If I offended anybody with this satire, I apologize in advance. Also, I couldn’t have completed this with the help of my good friend, colleague Randy and storage aficionado Arseneau (@truthinstorage) thanks chief!


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