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3/25/2008
07:54 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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The Disruption Factor

Here's a hypothetical based on a lot of ifs. If you had a bunch of money to invest, if you had access to the smartest brokers around, and if the economy were on firm ground, which of these ideas would you invest in?

Here's a hypothetical based on a lot of ifs. If you had a bunch of money to invest, if you had access to the smartest brokers around, and if the economy were on firm ground, which of these ideas would you invest in?I ask this while looking over recent introductions of products or services from the last few weeks. Some are intriguing, others superfluous. Some are innovative, while others are "me too" offerings.

VCs and institutional investors are always on the lookout for the next big game-changing technology (like virtualization), an upstart company (think Apple), or an academic who just can't stop thinking things up (one of the Google guys). None of these ideas or technologies may be that disruptive or game-changing. But would you invest in any of this trio if you could? I'd love to hear why (or why not), either in the comment box below or in e-mail.

Wells Fargo's vSafe

For $180 a year, the bank will encrypt and store digital versions of important documents from birth certificates to family photos and presumably any other items that can be scanned and digitized. Elbowing in on Iron Mountain or other backup service providers? Maybe. If Wells Fargo hadn't botched the approval process for a line of credit for me, I'd say this looks like a smart move -- lots of ready-made customers and a mostly trusted name. Will banking customers really go for it?

What Got SAID

Storage startup Atrato took the wraps off its self-maintaining array of independent disks this week. Its SAID technology is described as a parallel-access disk array that runs at 11,500 IOPS and holds terabytes of data, with little to no maintenance or disk replacement for as much as five years. Will investors (or customers) gamble over that timeframe to see if the claims hold up? Maybe if they land a few high-profile reference customers that they can brag about.

Failure-Free Downtime

That's part of the promise being made by Marathon Technologies and its EverRun VM for high availability in XenSource environments, and also offering immediate fault tolerance. Louisiana Public Broadcasting is said to be beta testing the product. Too niche-y, or is the virtual high-availability marketplace already well served? We should know more in a year or so.

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