2021 Year in Review


Where in the Sam Hill did 2021 go?!  As much as 2020 felt like the tortoise that was never going to cross the finish line, 2021 BLEW by like the hare and it’s hard to fathom just how much was accomplished.  Record development and deployment of MULTIPLE vaccines for a global pandemic, a new President took office here in the US, and we finally got out of Afghanistan after 20 years.

Ya know, Rambo III really should be required viewing before anyone goes in there again.

But that’s not all!  Some big things happened in tech this year, and my life got turned upside down several times over!  So, let’s take a look back at 2021 and take a few minutes to reflect on just what went down.

Today we’re going to be looking back at the previous year and discussing some major milestones.  Not just for tech, but also for myself as it was a big year for me as well!  Later this month, I’ll also be doing another video on where I think the next year and beyond will take us, so make sure you’re subscribed to the channel and have your notifications on so you don’t miss any new videos or when I go live!

Personal Updates

On a personal level, I looked up and 2021 was GONE!  But just to highlight some big milestones, it marked the beginning of my journey as a tech creator here on YouTube!  Actually, my first video last year was my 2020 Year in Review. How about that!  Anyway, throughout the year, I learned a LOT about what it took to be a content creator of this caliber from editing videos, learning about cameras and lenses, lighting, storytelling, and examining the habits of how people watch what I create in order to tweak them accordingly.  One of my biggest regrets of last year was that I only made 10 videos throughout the entire year.  A combination of time getting away from me and competing priorities restricted that.  SO … this year, I’ve made arrangements to avoid a lot of that and committed to making a video per week for the entirety of the year.  As with most goals, that’s lofty and I’m going to do my very best to achieve it, but I’ve already got a nice framework laid out based on lessons learned from this past year.

Ester and I also got a new puppy in February … she turned one this week, not so much a puppy anymore, and I moved across the country … again.

We bought a new home in Las Vegas, and the new DatacenterDude Studio was built to be a content creation factory for all of you in the coming years!

All-in-all, it’s been a monumental year for me, and I look forward to building on that success with all of you.  You’ve all helped me lay the foundation for an exciting year ahead and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in store!

While I was doing all that, some crazy awesome stuff happened in 2021 in the world of enterprise tech.  Crazy acquisitions happened and several companies hit multi-trillion dollar valuations.  Apple ditched Intel for their own Apple Silicon, Artificial Intelligence exploded onto the scene, and cloud computing became an even bigger deal as more than 60% of companies plan to have a majority of their workloads in the cloud by the end of 2022.

But if I had to pick three massive things that happened in 2021 … seriously, just three?  <sigh> OK, fine …

1) Quantum Computing

If you’ve been following along with me for the past year, I’ve been somewhat maniacally obsessed with the concepts of what Quantum computing could bring to the table.  I even included it on my things to look out for a year ago.  This past year was no different.  I’ve even taken to watching the entire 8-04 course available on MIT’s YouTube channel to try and learn what I can.  Quantum computing is going to be a massive deal in the future.  If I had one example from 2021 to cite, it would be the Quantum Networking project that’s happening in New York.

Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory are planning a demonstration in what we’ll call “quantum communication.”  This concept is truly next-gen and hopes to offer unprecedented security.  How?  Well, the trick of quantum mechanics hopes to make it obvious if anyone has tampered with the transmission in any way.  Quantum Memory Buffers from a startup known as Qunnect will be placed at each location, and photons within those buffers will become entangled with each other over a network spanning 70 kilometers!  Truly fascinating stuff.  And remember, we’re not talking about “way off in the distant future” here, this is happening NOW!

2) The Metaverse

A lot of you are going to turn your nose up at this next one, and I completely understand why given their recent history, but ride this one out with me.  Have you read Ready Player One, or seen Spielberg’s movie adaptation?  Where a tech company built an entire metaverse called “The Oasis” that eventually became the place where everyone worked, gamed, and interacted socially?  It developed its own currency and commerce within, and completely changed the way people lived and interacted.  They may not be the ones to eventually pull it off for real, but Facebook has re-branded itself as Meta with massive plans to build what seems to be that very thing.  Don’t forget, they already own Oculus, have their own “currency” in likes and stars, and there’s nothing stopping them from adding their own tokens on one of the blockchain networks out there.  Personally, I’m very excited to see where this goes, but 2021 will be the year I remember as the year the metaverse kicked off.  It’s coming.  And the pandemic accelerated it.  Instead of sitting on Zoom meetings all day, imagine if you could still meet and interact LIVE with everyone in a virtual setting, never having to travel or leave your house or put on a mask again.  Damn.  That’s something I can really get on-board with.  Whether or not it’s The Zuck that pulls it off or not remains to be seen, but I’m all-in on the Metaverse.

That said, it also gets on to my next big thing that reared its head in 2021 in a big way: Digital Twins.

3) Digital Twins

I’ll understand if you’re scratching your head right now.  Let’s define it and talk about it.  According to IBM, “a digital twin is a virtual representation of an object or system that spans its lifecycle, is updated from real-time data, and uses simulation, machine learning and reasoning to help decision-making.”

In simpler terms, this just means we’re creating a virtual model that is the exact counterpart (or “twin”) of a physical thing. The ‘thing’ could be a car, a building, a bridge, or a jet engine. Connected sensors on the physical asset collect data that can be mapped onto the virtual model. Anyone looking at the digital twin can now see crucial information about how the physical thing is doing out there in the real world.  Think of digital twins as next-generation test & QA.  From an engineering perspective, this allows you to run seemingly infinite amounts of unit tests, simulations, calibrations, and more without ever having to drive a car with a crash test dummy into a brick wall, for example.

Imagine if we combined all of these things, and more, into the very bright future we all have ahead of us in tech and as a society, where we have digital twins of physical things, all inside a metaverse, with commerce and communications built on quantum mechanics.

Holy &$%@!

Like I said, there are plenty of acquisitions, tech advancements in Finance, Medicine, and Manufacturing, and more in the day-to-day of Enterprise IT we could spend hours talking about, but I hope you enjoyed my three outside-the-box milestones I took away from 2021.  Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss my 2022 & beyond predictions coming soon.

Happy New Year!

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