Pete Zaitcev (zaitcev) wrote,
Pete Zaitcev
zaitcev

Darcy on the future of storage

Quick comment on the following:

Good morning, madam. What kind of storage system would you like me to build for you today?

Scary thought. That means that selling storage products is going to be hard for all of us. We'll be selling components, both hardware and software, or we'll be selling integration and support services. Somebody will always pay to have somebody else assemble the parts, maybe add some light customization, and support the result. There's a nice living to be made there... but no empires.

Why is it a problem that no empires are to be built? It's only a problem for an empire-builder like I dunno... Sam Altman or something. Darcy is an old engineer, not a startup founder. A good one, too. His kids aren't going to go to bed hungry.

We've been at this dance before with Linux. People have been asking if Red Hat was going to be like Microsoft, and I told everyone: nope. We're transfering the wealth that the proprietary lock-in vendors were collecting back to the users. That was the whole idea. In the process, we're collecting less - a more reasonable amount, necessary to put stuff together and make it run. Therefore, we're not going to be as wealthy off users' backs. But the society as a whole benefits.

So cry me a river. Not scary at all. But RTWT, I think he's drawing a truthful outline overall.

P.S. Another thing, what's magical about storage? Why, I can go build spacecraft when storage goes bust. Or whatever. Of course it's a pity for all the storage-specific techniques and skills that I accumulated, but eh. As long as we leave behind the good code (and docs), it's all good.

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Good point, Pete, and thanks for the kind words. I'm not scared for myself, fortunately. This apocalypse will not come before I get out of the business anyway. In some ways it will be good, in sort of the same way that individual or community farming might be preferable to agribusiness. I don't like behemoths any more than the next guy. When I say it's scary, though, I don't mean that in a particularly good or bad way. I'm just noting a fact. Crossing a chasm is scary even if it's on the way to salvation, and IMO anyone who's not at least a little bit worried just isn't paying enough attention.