Ask the Expert

Crystal ball outlook for 2002-2003 - Part III

Part III - Once again, expert Chris Poelker takes a look into his mysterious crystal ball and gives us his 2002 predictions as to where the storage industry is headed in the coming months. He defines three major issues affecting the industry.

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On the virtualization front:(cont'd)

I think 2002 will be the year of virtualization. You may see switch vendors and network vendors getting into the act also. Since out-of-band virtualization is done at the switch level, this is where the bits should be for control. Perhaps SNIA will ratify a standard that can be implemented by the network vendors, along with all the switch vendors. If this does not happen, you will see competing metadata server appliances being pushed by all the server and storage vendors. We truly need standards here if the customer is going to benefit and the confusion reduced. One thing I am hoping for is the operating system vendors to come together with SNIA, and agree on an open "Global File System" in the fabric, which will allow for complete inter-platform file sharing and control. Look for more on this as Microsoft pushes out new functionality in NT by the end of 2002.

Summary:

There are just too many vendors out there pushing too many products and ways of doing things for customers to make intelligent decisions on where to spend their budgets. Many customers are getting so fed up with all the confusing solutions that they are outsourcing everything to xSPs. I think 2002 should be the year of standards. This way customers can choose "best of breed" products and solutions that they can feel confident will interoperate with competing solutions. Only then will customers realize true investment protection. I see 2002 getting off to a good start in this area. I also see further consolidations and acquisitions solidifying who the winners will be in the storage industry for the next few years.

Have a happy new year!

Yours in technical excellence
Christopher L. Poelker

Go here to view Part I
Go here to view Part II

This was first published in January 2002

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