Today I am feeling a bit of the same emotion that I felt in the months after the great earthquake that my family and I, along with the people of Japan, experienced just over a year ago. The reason for this is something that I saw posted when I woke up this morning regarding how SoftBank, with the help of NetApp, helped Japan and its citizens in the recovery effort. See video...
My experience, which I talked about here, mirrors some of the same things referred to by SoftBank. Imagine not being able to travel to the office due to transportation being completely shut down. Or rolling blackouts meaning that throughout the day, if the trains happened to be running, not knowing whether they would still be running once it was time to return home. Or not having heat or cooling in the office to be able to work comfortably. Or food at the convenience store or any other number of basic necessities being available. Or gas to drive your car...
Even though cloud was not intended for the purpose of "working from home", as with any disruptive and innovative technology, it is interesting to see what technology is capable of in times of need or times of urgency or even new ways to use a technology that were never dreamed of before. Think about the pure energy-saving aspects of virtualization and cloud and expand that to energy savings from working remotely and you can clearly see what's possible.
I do remember hearing stories of how SoftBank was giving away its services and donating money to help in the recovery. I commend them for their efforts. I can say that I am even more proud that they happened to do it using NetApp technologies.
As you may know from reading my blog entry from a year ago... I had the experience, as a customer, of using technologies from NetApp and VMware to failover critical services in our infrastructure during the disaster. This only scratched the service of what transformative technologies can accomplish, as evidenced by SoftBank's success. Look to the past and present and you will see further evidence of how technology saves lives. Look to the future and you can see the potential and the promise of cloud computing. Exciting times indeed!
Executive Summary (PDF)
Technical Case Study (PDF)