Apparently I've been living under a rock for the last couple of months (too much coding) because I missed a product that has unbelievable potential: Drobo. I apologize to anyone thinking that this is old news, but I think it's important. For those you who were under that rock with me, Drobo is a RAID device that allows you to put in different size drives into the case and actually use the extra capacity. It also is an intelligent little box and will actually change RAID types to maximize the file storage. Now, this is of obvious use to home users who are about as likely to backup their data as I am to swim the English Channel. And as soon as they have a FireWire version video editors will be in love. But what gets me all excited is something that has not been discussed: This technology in RAID for servers.
Today in your typical server farm you have external RAID devices to store your data. This allows for larger databases and easier access for web applications. Problem is, if your web application stores a lot of data (like Heap CRM does) you are constantly needing to expand storage. So what do you do? Well you add more drives of course. So how big of drives are you going to add? Well how about 1TB drives, that's the largest right? Well, you can't because when bought the RAID, 100GB was the largest drive you could buy and that's what the other drives in the RAID are. So you buy 100GB drives. At some point you will fill the RAID and you buy another.
An "enterprise" Drobo would be the last RAID any web application or file server would ever need. So, you start out with 100GB drives. Then you expand with 1TB drives. You fill it with 2TB drives and replace the 100GB drives with 4TB drives. The storage would essentially become endless.
What does this mean to end users? You would have less downtime for maintenance on your favorite web applications, massive amounts of storage would be a lot cheaper if not free and you would see more players in the marketplace as the cost of entry would drop.