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The Future of Storage

From fiction to reality and new tech integration. Will Project Silica from Microsoft make the final cut?!

The development of storage has been anything but 1s and 0s. It’s a road that snakes and slithers across a whole range of disciplines and industries. We rely on it completely; in our gadgets and now via our cloud accounts.

You might be thinking if you have spent some time here that I’m a little obsessed with data storage! And whilst there are at least three articles that discuss it explicitly: Conserving our history, the digital dark side and original tape storage. also includes cultural and technological developments that may be of use and interest to us.

A trip to the movies

Image shows a screenshot of the 2002 internet trailer for the movie Minority Report.  From the article The Future of Storage courtesy of
Credit: Minority Report internet trailer 2002 / 20th Century fox

In the 1999 film The Minority Report. Tom Cruise plays the role of precrime chief John Anderton, whose mission it is to catch criminals before they commit their crimes. To do this he uses a touch screen computer and glass-like slides that contain a suspect’s data. Between this and his own detective work, Mr Anderton becomes involved in high-octane action and a dilemma with an overreach into his personal life!

And Tom Cruise isn’t the only one portraying the use of ‘futuristic’ technology in a similar way. In the movie The Final Cut, Robin Williams portrays Alan W. Hackman; a somewhat tired and sad editor whose job it is to remove unsavory scenes from a deceased person’s life. Presenting at their funeral a more wholesome and watered down version of their character. To be honest it’s rather bleak viewing, even though the movie as a whole is very well executed. But that aside, once more it shows data stored and accessed in a way that has now actually arrived.

The future of storage now

Image shows Project Silica by Microsoft from the article The Future of Storage courtesy of
Credit: Project Silica (

Whilst it may be true, Project Silica will initially only concern major data centers and corporations. Eventually, if proven, this tech will see a more commercially realistic price.

Generally speaking, the infrastructure needed by users to take advantage of new technology will be different depending on where it is being implemented. It requires careful planning and execution:

  • Hardware that can provide the required processing power for the new tech.
  • Software that can run new tech including operating systems and applications that can run on the hardware.
  • A network that can handle increased data traffic generated by new technology.
  • Security that can identify and protect against new and unforeseen threats that will be created to challenge it.

We generally expect certain and larger performance outcomes from the devices we use. And our patience is tested at even seconds of wait time! Compare today’s access times to the 21+ seconds it used to take to load a single sample from machine off – and we can see how far we have come.

So whatever form our future storage takes, speed; efficiency; accuracy and reliability are all performance outcomes we continue to demand. Whether that is in a more advanced SD storage or in the glass slides we once saw in the movies.

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