• United States
by Anne Skamarock

No vacation from storage

Jun 03, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Storage is used wherever you go

Spring is in the air, and a person’s fancy turns to – summer vacation. Wasn’t it great, as a kid, to get three months off during the summer? Well, I’ve decided to follow my kids’ example and take the summer off, to spend with them. Of course, it won’t be a storage-free vacation by any means. Digital storage touches our lives in ways we don’t even realize.

We’ve decided to take some trips around the country, and perhaps even abroad. One of the first places we will visit is Washington, D.C., where we will tour the Air and Space Museum (of course, I have two boys). There we will see movies and displays that use large amounts of storage to simulate space travel.

From there, we can head to the Science and Technology Museum to see what some of the first computers and storage looked like. Plus, all the documents, photographs and art cared for by the Smithsonian Institution are being scanned and stored digitally for historical preservation.

One of the places my boys are itching to go is Disney World. Boy, do they use storage there. It all starts when making your reservations, as your vacation itinerary is stored. Then, once you get there, the hotel security system uses storage to keep track of room key codes, to save video information collected from the cameras in the lobby, hallways, and so forth. This is all before you even get to the theme parks, where storage is used in the automation of all the rides and events – from “It’s a Small World” (does that song get to you after a while too?) to some of the high-tech virtual reality rides. Even the park pass systems require storage.

Of course Disney is tracking and storing what rides/events you choose for market research.

Finally, we’re thinking of taking a trip to England and France. Hey, maybe we can visit EuroDisney. Or maybe not. Anyway, as mentioned before, the airline ticket reservation systems require huge amounts of storage. Talk about a 24-by-7-by-forever data access requirement. Then there is the train reservation system and the hotel reservation system. When we travel, we often use the public transit systems, which often store routing and timetables digitally (even online).

Of course, when summer is all over, there will be the huge credit card expenses, tracking our steps over the summer months, stored and sent out to be paid. I wonder how many different storage systems our names will be saved to over this summer? Probably more than I want to think about.

I may be taking a three-month leave of absence (summer vacation) while my friend and colleague, Mike Karp, will continue to write the Storage in the Enterprise newsletter. If you have topics you would like to see highlighted, please send Mike an e-mail at > Have a great summer.