Virtualizing history: even Colonial Williamsburg needs the cloud

Summary:How America's first colonial capital cleared up its information storage bottlenecks.

Here's a disconnect. I just saw this piece about Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, implementing a virtualized, tiered storage pool to manage its information and content.

Behind the woodwork, a virtualized storage pool

Yes, behind the blacksmithing and glass-blowing and butter-churning you see as part of the 18th-century technology on display, there is an infrastructure capable of supporting up to 100 TBs of raw storage, mainly rich media files.

David Vallente explains that the historical site -- which has 3,500 employees -- was overloading its tier 1 storage devices, creating disruptions in the ability of employees to store and access image files and documents. In fact, Colonial WIlliamsburg's 70 departments each had their own storage solutions.

The organization addressed this issue through a file virtualization approach, which created a centralized pooled storage for use by all departments. Colonial Williamsburg is also planning to deploy storage to cloud resources. Vallente urges the creation of global resource pools and automated data migration to meet growing data demands. And, he adds, "including the cloud in plans is timely and sensible, especially for mid-sized and small organizations that lack advanced recovery capabilities."

Patrick Henry and George Washington probably would have approved of the sensibility of managing information this way.

(Photo: Wikipedia.)

Topics: Storage, Hardware


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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