Wozniak: Flash is the future for storage

By Peter Gothard
25 Sep 2012 View Comments
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, visiting Australia in his capacity as chief scientist for enterprise storage vendor Fusion-IO, has said that disk-based storage has had its day and that solid state storage is becoming "the de facto standard".

As Fusion-IO sells NAND solid state storage, it was perhaps no surprise that Wozniak and company CEO David Flynn – who described spinning disks as "toast" – would carry this message. But to further illustrate his point, the ex-Apple man decided to make the comparison between his old company and struggling smartphone giant RIM:

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"New disruptive technologies don't have an instant disruptive effect," Wozniak told iTnews.

"Sometimes, like with RIM, it takes a few years before all of a sudden they are almost off a cliff. RIM wasn't really affected at first by the iPhone, but a few years later it caught up. Eventually it catches up to you."

CEO David Flynn continued to hammer the message home, saying that while the performance of processors in the datacentre has "grown exponentially", storage and memory as ways to deliver data have not.

"SAN [storage area network] storage will be used for archival purposes," said Flynn. "Disk is the new tape. Primary storage will be Flash within servers."

Flynn predicted that the price of solid state memory would continue to fall to reflect rising demand for the technology.

Wozniak, who has been an employee of Fusion-IO since February 2009, later admitted that he had had no input in creating the software development kit he was promoting on the trip to Australia.

"I advocate it, I understand it, I know what to appreciate, and for my own reasons," said Wozniak.

"It doesn't mean I'm always right. And I do not have a hand in developing it like an engineer these days; I have a very busy life taken up with other things. So I want to associate with the company because I love the company."

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