A simple question, which SAN technology vendors are going to be key in the future? Who has the best products positioned for the future trends?
There will be consolidation in the storage industry as SAN technology matures, just as it happens in almost every industry today. I expect iSCSI technology will be a player within the next 18 months. Fibre Channel SANs though will not be going away. For performance reasons with current technology, it's the best solution to use for application servers.
The remaining players? That depends. The server vendors are now making their choices on whether to develop their own products or resell open products. There are a few great products out there from startups, many will be bought out by the big guys. You will have the final say as to who survives and who does not via your wallet. Customers need to drive the industry. Make your needs known by refusing to purchase inferior products. Demand standards from your vendor, so you can choose "best of breed" products for your environment, and connect all the pieces together.
Who will win? My guess is those vendors with superior products that interplay in an open SAN, and can be managed by anyone's software.
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