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VCR hits the buffers, what tech could join it soon?

As we move into August, we leave behind what was once a technological breakthrough that found its way into most of our living rooms. It was announced last month that the humble VCR was to be no longer as the last unit was built in Japan.

The big surprise in all of this may have been that VCRs were even still being made and used by a shrinking minority. The VCR was replaced in part by the DVD and now even further by Internet streaming services and catch-up TV. But what are other examples of tech that needs to hit the road, and what will be replacing it?

Mark Young, Systems Engineering Director, EMEA, Tintri:

"Legacy storage is archaic – like a VCR. As more businesses move towards virtualisation they need to adapt their IT environments. Legacy storage technologies like DAS, SAN and NAS are ill-equipped to support virtualisation because they were designed for a physical world, decades before virtualisation even existed. It’s like trying to watch a DVD on a VCR – it is simply not compatible.

"It’s no surprise that Japan has announced it ceased the production of VCRs; they were great over 20 years ago, but as technology evolves our needs change. It’s the same story for legacy storage - dated technology that is being replaced by more VM-centric solutions that were created with virtualisation in mind.”

Tony Martin, Managing Director UK and IE, FalconStor:

“News that the final videocassette recorder (VCR) is to be made this month will come as no surprise. In fact, many people probably thought VCRs phased out in the early 2000s, let alone stumbled into 2016! Tech has come a long way since the heyday of videocassettes and the generation of today will be more familiar with online streaming services and catch-up portals. Advancements in cloud technology have assisted this rapid growth in the streaming market and providers such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer have seen great success, assisted by highly scalable streaming platforms. All of this is made possible by the cloud.

“With smart TVs, phones, tablets and next-generation consoles all offering access to these platforms via apps, it may not be long until we wave goodbye to the DVD too.

“This is a good example of where the focus can shift away from hardware. We are seeing this shift from a hardware-focused storage to one where software will become the dominant force. As software-defined storage (SDS) platforms mature and provide more robust data services, it is getting harder to justify buying more of the same from a hardware vendor. Organisations that take the plunge and opt for a software-first approach will benefit from greater choices when making their next purchasing decision as well as the freedom to pick the most suitable product, rather than be restricted to what is compatible.”

Peter Godden, VP, EMEA at Zerto commented:

“The fact that VCRs remained in demand for so long – decades after they had effectively become obsolete, illustrates how technology can remain in place when higher performing, more reliable and versatile options are available.

“Yet, for something as important as disaster recovery, we still see many organisations relying on very old technology. These businesses are spending large sums of money to simply maintain highly vulnerable, deficient systems, such as tape-based backups. Advances in the area of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions are helping organisations with this 'antiquities’ issue.

"They are not only bringing their data centres and critical data into the modern era, but by improving flexibility to dynamically react to all forms of disasters and ensure uninterrupted operations that are critical to business success. We shouldn’t wait until a product ceases to exist to know it’s redundant.”

Image source: Shutterstock/vandame