Moore’s Law meets Physics and Economics at the same time..

Over the last few months many customers of ours have noticed that upgrading their filers to the newest systems seems to provide little performance dividend, and therefore keeping older systems running makes more sense now.

Over the weekend there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that did a little to explain why new Filers may not be that much faster then older Filers.

From the WSJ

“Chip speeds more or less hit a plateau about four years ago because the devices started generating too much heat. If past trends had continued, microprocessors would be about 20 times faster than they currently are. This is a problem. Microprocessors that run faster can do more.

Designers are trying to work around the problem by putting several processors on each chip. But it is hard for programmers to write software that does a lot of things simultaneously. So far, they haven’t devised any “must have” programs that encourage consumers to buy new chips.

The great plateau has had a drastic effect on chip sales. There is less reason for computer users to replace their hardware and little reason for hardware companies to buy the most advanced chips, which are the most profitable for chip makers. The total revenue Intel and AMD earn from microprocessors has been shrinking steadily since 2003.

This hardly means the industry is in a death spiral. But it does mean microprocessors are in danger of becoming more of a commodity, like memory chips.”

In my previous post I touched on Apple’s adoption of ZFS, other folks are asking interesting questions also.

As Matt Asay says in his posting.

“This, however, is allegedly only the tip of the iceberg of Apple’s adoption of ZFS, making the outcome of NetApp’s lawsuit important to more than just Sun.

Now, if I were NetApp, there are a few companies that would be extremely unwise to sue or otherwise involve in a lawsuit. Apple is one of those. I don’t think I’d want that PR nightmare and the hordes of Apple faithful that would be screaming for NetApp’s head.”

“Open source is the 21st Century’s. Get with the times, NetApp.”

The future of technology may depend on companies looking at open source code as a natural resource. Maybe future Silicon Valley companies will begin marketing software and products like Evian does water and Conoco does oil. There is a premium paid for the Evian’s brand and for Conoco’s brand and delivery of a consistent product. Will future storage consumers pay a premium for a brand and consistency?

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