Take too many red-eye flights and you begin to notice the recurring structure of many of the world’s larger metropolitan areas. Yes, cities are differentiated by intricate cultural divergences, varying geographic topologies, and certainly vastly dissimilar weather patterns, but from the air you can always spot their basic design. Look for the concentration of high-rise buildings and you will find the city’s “downtown”, look beyond the edges of this center and you will find what looks like an endless field of low rise mostly residential surroundings.
How the World Changed
As widespread and efficient as they are, high rise office buildings are of course a completely modern innovation. Go just a hundred and fifty years back and for thousands of years it would be very rare to find any continuously livable building over 7 floors high. Then within the span of a few dozen years buildings would start sprouting up to over 100 floors, and the world would change forever.
It is easy to mistakenly assume that it was just the evolution of construction techniques that made this possible. No, the technology to build tall structures was there since the time of the Pharaohs and their Pyramids. But Pyramids were missing a key feature without which they could not be of much use beyond serving as extremely large tombstones. It took some years to develop, but that feature was finally demonstrated live at the New York World Fair in 1853.
A Killer Demo
Elisha Otis, an inventor and entrepreneur, stood on a platform raised high on rails by the pulling power of a single rope. He then baffled the crowd by asking an assistant to sever this rope with an axe while he was still on the platform. The rope was cut, and to the amazement of the crowd the platform started to fall….but it was immediately stopped by Otis’s safety mechanism kicking in and locking the platform in place.
The safety elevator had seen its world debut. Suddenly working at the top floor for a building became both practical and safe. Towers would now become usable. For everyone.
Can it happen again?
So what is all this doing on the blog of a storage company? Well, as it happens, in the world of storage towers are rising up again. However this time their height is measured not in floors but in layers of silicon.
3D flash is about to revolutionize the world of storage changing the economics of flash deployment with a storage component that is both fast and cost effective.
As impressive as they are, however, 3D flash chips alone will not revolutionize the world. What is missing is a complementary technology that will turn 3D flash into something that is both practical and safe for the critical data in modern enterprise data centers. Something that will be the catalyst making 3D flash usable for any enterprise, and any application. That technology? Stay tuned….