Predictions that yet again did not materialize:
- Actual product adoption of thin-provision and auto-provisioning technology.
- Real adoption of intelligent fabric switches. (Expect these to arrive in 12-18 months. Deja vu.)
- The demise of Fibre Channel at the hands of IP storage, including iSCSI.
- TCP/IP offload engines (TOEs) and iSCSI acceleration card adoption.
- Death of magnetic tape and the mainframe.
Intelligent fabric switches won't arrive for another 12-18 months. IP-based storage continuous to grow; however, the demise of Fibre Channel has been greatly exaggerated, at least for the time being. With the continued growth of IP-based storage, including iSCSI, thanks in part to Microsoft's software initiator, the TOE market remains flat at best. Many sites that have installed iSCSI-based storage solutions to the tune of 90-95% report that good performance without a TOE is good enough for their environments. The bright spot could very well be TOE benefits for traditional TCP traffic, including NAS. Tape and the mainframe are alive and well, contrary to reports, and both continue to be enhanced and deployed.
Here are my predictions for what will gain more momentum in 2005:
- Storage interface enhancements, including 4 Gb & 10 Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gb Copper Ethernet, PCI-Express and Infiniband as an interconnect for blade servers.
- Wide Area File Services (WAFS) and storage-over-distance enhancements.
- Another round of vendor consolidation in the storage and networking space.
- Multi-tiered backup including D2D2T, D2D2O and D2D2D.
- Multi-vendor heterogeneous storage replication, mirroring, and data movement.
What will be over-hyped in 2005:
- Fully integrated, do-everything management tools and ILM.
- Intelligent storage routers and fabric appliances.
- Storage Grids and Global Name/File Space.
- iSER and RDMA along with TCP Acceleration using 10 Gb Ethernet.
About the author: Greg Schulz is a senior analyst with the independent storage analysis firm, The Evaluator Group Inc. Greg has 25 years of IT experience as a consultant, end user, storage and storage networking vendor, and industry analyst. Greg has worked with Unix, Windows, IBM Mainframe, OpenVMS and other hardware/software environments. In addition to being an analyst, Greg is also the author and illustrator of "Resilient Storage Networks", Greg has contributed material to Storage Magazine. Greg holds both a computer science and software engineering degree from the University of St. Thomas.
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