Object: It's not just about storing stuff...
Interesting piece, Adrian. Good to see more discussion relative to the object technology space...finally. Just wanted to mention a feature I didn't see in the article, and in my opinion, one of object's most valuable, its capabilities in providing a foundation for information management. So much potential with this, but the architecture has to be right and you're correct that the products on the market today differ quite a bit in architecture. Having spent over 15 years in this space I've evaluated/competed with all of them and there's tremendous opportunity to really disrupt the storage industry; primarily file systems with that "right architecture".
Object won't obviate the need for file systems, but will substantially impact their use. As the advanced computing team from a major US university said during an executive briefing last year "...the file system has pretty much reached the end of its useful life", but also recognized it would continue to occupy a place in the environment (though much smaller in size). We'll also see object adoption move faster when SW engineers really begin to recognize what they can do with object and start using it as a development platform to deliver apps. Good to see Ms. Collier is in agreement on this point (worked with her in the past, Hi Lynn!).
The new paradigm of storing and interacting with information has emerged from the community networks and content sharing sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Shutterfly, etc.) that rely on relationships, links, associations and "likes" (tags/metadata) where those relationships hold as much, if not more value than the actual content. The new generation of consumers, corporate users and technologists understand this paradigm far more than the stodgy, block-based, folder/file hierarchical technology of yester-year. Object technology provides an infrastructure that can persist and protect that data while enabling the creative "bit twiddlers" to take advantage of it in unique and exciting ways.