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February 2018, Vol. 16, No. 12

Market for software-defined systems due for a correction

Software-defined was hands down the most overworked, overhyped, overused -- and abused -- descriptor in the vocabulary of data storage systems in 2017. And with a blizzard of terminology, including cloud, internet of things, big data, AI and machine learning showering down on us, that says a lot. Software-defined stood out because it's perhaps one of the least accurate product descriptions among all vendor chatter. Consider the source of all this prattle about software-defined systems. Yup, you guessed it. The most vocal vendors seem to be purveyors of traditional storage and server hardware. While seemingly working at cross-purposes to their own interests, they're nonetheless recasting themselves as software-defined systems vendors. There are a lot of problems with that proposition, but two biggies really stick out. Breaking up is hard to do First, it's not like the old hardware vendors have quit selling hardware. For the most part, you can't go to the checkout counter at NetApp or Hitachi or most of the other big-time hardware...

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