Computing

How Would the Xmen Solve Their Data Storage Problems?

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When the office recently upgraded the internet connection to a fibre line, all of our buffering problems ceased and load times were dramatically cut. While not the same kind of speeds as Google Fiber has built in Kansas City, it is still good enough to stream an HD movie without a stutter.

The movie we used to test this was X2 and the scene with Professor X in Cerebro prompted a thought. Where does he store all his data?

Cerebro can see, in real-time, all 7 billion people on the planet and display a holographic image of where they are and what they‘re doing, all at the same time. That’s got to be a few Mb per second each, for 7 billion people. When he helps Nightcrawler they instantly pull up the relevant information for what he had been doing previously, so all of this information is being stored somewhere and retrieved.

storage

Cerebro is capable of extracting, analysing and streaming data in real-time, and all while under the command of one individual. Let us not forget that these interactions are not controlled by a keyboard or even by audible input but rather by the electrical impulses in the professor’s own mind. Does this sound impressive? What is more impressive is the sheer amount of data that must be contained to perform these operations, especially considering that any command is carried out virtually immediately.

Perhaps what we don’t see is the vast computer farm located directly beneath the device or the army of individuals employed to keep this colossal system running properly. In fact, according to the film series, much of this computing power has been achieved through the use of nanotechnology as opposed to hard-wiring together a few million external hard drives.

Nano technological innovation or not, Cerebro represents what we all wish our computers could be; devices which instantaneously respond to our every command through reading our own thoughts. Even if we had the capability to do so, imagine the nightmare it would be to retrieve data from only a few days ago. Indeed, if we were to take a look back at our browsing history during the last week, we would surely be able to view a few hundred web pages if not more. Let us not forget about the information that we may have downloaded. As if our records management requirements are not enough, imagine those of Cerebro.

Although we all wish we had the capabilities of Professor X, we all can’t have a computer like Cerebro and we have to deal with the day to day practicalities of storage and records management. Although cloud storage is the current vogue, the average speeds of connections means that I still prefer to have data stored on hard drives, and for business have separate off-site backup.

While Cerebro and the X-Men base probably don’t outsource their off-site backup solution, the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters which provides their cover might. As a private school they would probably be required to keep the pupil’s confidential record secure and all of the academic and other records have to be backed up.

I like to think that Professor Charles Xavier would give a nod to his superhero persona and at least employ a firm that stores its data in a hollowed out mountain in an “abandoned” mine.

Written by: Josh Cooke has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. In recent year his focus has been on IT Security which has gained importance as the Internet has grown, an avid follower of the latest gadgets and advancements in the technology industry.

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