The players and products in the storage market will sort themselves out -- but not until the second half of the year. IBM, EMC, Veritas and others are still accumulating companies and technologies. It will take the next several months for them to sort through it all and decide what to bring to market.
Storage consolidation will drive and be confounded by network infrastructure. It doesn't take gigabit Ethernet to deliver the bandwidth necessary for most applications. The thing that will push infrastructure upgrades is centralized remote storage. The thing that will prevent the consolidation of storage is slow infrastructure. Tightly packed organizations with fiber infrastructure will definitely find themselves with an advantage over time.
The use of tape for non-archival backups in large organizations will start to decline. Tape is now much more expensive than disk in many applications. The secret of (economic) success is to think outside of the box and use secondary disk storage arrays in situations where the infrastructure can support it.
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This was first published in December 2002