How important will storage education be in 2009?

Posted by Gina Rosenthal in storage education | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

A couple of things happened to me over the last few days that have me thinking about storage + education.

I was reading a post from Brian Henderson, one of my colleagues at EMC. Once I got past the 80s’s hair band reference, the post left me with a lot to think about. He talked about his disaster recovery plan for his digital music, videos and pictures.

That made me think about the first house project I’ll be tackling once I graduate: digitizing my vinyl, home videos, and old pictures. We’ll be purchasing some sort of storage and using Mozy to back it up, just like Brian did.

But this little tidbit from Brian’s post really got me thinking:

Matt, who works at a Boston-based videogame company, isn’t a storage geek.  Which explained the blank stare I had from him after my description.

I’ll just imagine that Matt doesn’t actually do coding, or support of the video games. How can you be an IT professional in this day and age and not know about storage? And do you have to be a storage geek to understand why DR (disaster recovery) is important, or at least how it would work?

When I went to get my eyes examined I started thinking about storage again. I pay $30 extra every year to have some digital scan done. I do this so they don’t have to dilate my eyes, and because I think having a digital record of my retinas may come in handy one day (glaucoma runs in my mom’s side). After the doctor did my eyes this year, he couldn’t find my previous records. I asked why, and he say it was probably on the other machine. I looked down, and this big complex piece of machinery seemed to be attached to a great big Dell PC. I guess my previous exams were on the other hard drive that was attached to the other machine. I immediately wondered, why aren’t these images being preserved on some central storage? And what happens if that Dell box dies? And why isn’t the company selling my eye doctor this system helping him out on storing and preserving his patients’ images?

That whole experience made me think of a post Steve Todd had written about Centera being used for storing digitized medical records. To bring it back to education, Steve quoted a Wall Street Journal article that outlines the five broad categories Obama’s to-do list to get us out of this economic mess. Steve concentrated on the fifth item on the list – digitizing health records. If these records get digitized, they have to be stored someplace. Does that mean more people need to understand how information is stored, managed, secured, etc on a storage array?

Back to storage education specifically. For those of you reading this with a technical academic background, did you actually study about storage in college? Did you understand the difference between SAN and NAS from your studies? Do you think its important that college kids (at least the ones in tech major) have exposure to information storage systems?

My organization has actually developed a generic storage curriculum that is taught in lots of colleges. I wish it had been available to me when I was in school.

7 Responses to How important will storage education be in 2009?

  1. Pam says:

    I`m not and by no means IT literate but so often I do think about storage of info. In our house we have 2 laptops and a desktop computer we did have a third laptop but the cable became fried and once it lost power we lost the data it held. My husband is cheesed off at me using his desktop and in now talking of updating it and giving me his old one which will make us a 4 computer family with different info stored on different computers.
    I am going to keep an eye on your advise

  2. Nada says:

    Storage (and NAS) came up yesterday as I was trying to connect our house stereo system to the CDs I stored on my PC (which are located on iTunes which seems to complicate the matter). After a lot of troubleshooting and research – I ended up sending a message to the help desk – hopefully someone can help me access the assets I have stored – in layman’s terms.

  3. Viplav Baxi says:

    Hi Gina,
    We develop a lot of training for a customer around server and storage technology. My view is that not only storage, but appreciation and awareness of many other new developments will help the individuals negotiate with aspects of technology interaction such as identity, control, power and access to IP.

  4. gminks says:

    Pam, I’ll try to remember to post what we end up buying to consolidate our home storage needs. I know we’ll use Mozy to back it up:

    Viplav I totally agree with the folks also need to understand control, access to the data, how to protect it, how to make sure access is set properly. But even that gets a bit more discussion than storage does though, don’t you think? Where are you working btw? (yay another ed person who gets storage!!). 🙂

  5. Viplav Baxi says:

    Gina, Yeah! I really think we should have elements of storage technologies in curriculum and present all the aspects around it in simple ways so that most people can comprehend them.

    I run an elearning company called Servitium in India (we are headquartered in Florida) that does storage content development for a large player in the area apart from many other things.

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