It's summer. it's hot. It was 187 degrees in Las Vegas for CA World. It's hard to think about storage when it's that hot. It's hard to think about anything, but I'll give it a try.
I think that EMC paid too much for Legato. I love Legato, but how does one justify $1.3 billion for only about $100 million in annual license revenues? I hope it works out, but that one will be a tough one to integrate into the EMC culture, at the very least. I think it was funny how aggressively Veritas went right at the Legato customer base, intimating that if things weren't already bad enough, now you have to deal with EMC! I could almost hear the ad snickering.
I think software licensing is more confusing than craps.
I think that there is more cool technology coming out over the next year than at any other time in storage history. There will be many lights at the end of many tunnels soon. The problem will be IT peoples' inability to take advantage of the next cool thing because most of the fundamentals have yet to be addressed. I'm going to try to help later this year by writing a book that will hopefully tell you the steps you need to take (or at least consider) to get your shop in order. I'm currently wrestling with titles, including Sex and The Storage Manager, Death on the Bin File Express, or Honey, I Shrunk the Backup Window.
Storage people fly. I fly way too much, and I hate it. Did you know that one of the very few airlines to make money is Southwest? They are also one of the very few who early on adopted a network storage architecture that gave them a huge competitive advantage. They sell on the Web. They use tons of NAS boxes--even to feed their transaction systems. I like Southwest because even while it is a cattle car, they don't pretend it is not. First Class on domestic airlines are a joke. I'm only 4-foot 6-inches tall, and I barely fit into one of their "luxury" seats. My wife has legs longer than me, so she has to fold them in half and store them in the back seat pocket. I just flew to Europe on American, in steerage. Now they don't even give you free drinks. It cost me a months pay to knock myself out. And I'm Platinum.
I think you better start letting some of the smaller companies pitch to you. I fear that if we can't find the time to praise the innovators, we'll end up dealing with three companies building garbage because they can get away with it. I'm not suggesting you dump IBM (or whatever company you deal with) for three guys and a crappy laser printer, but if you look you will find some amazing stuff from the underground. Backup/recovery is going to be the first area drawing a lot of startup attention this year.
I think the best line I've heard in a while came during a recent dinner with JP Morgan IT guru Sanjay Mandloi. JP spent $4 billion on IT stuff. Yes, billion. I asked him what he thought about one of his selected vendors' products and he replied, "It sucks." When pressed with the obvious questions, he clarified– "Oh it sucks, just not as bad as everything else...." That both horrifies and excites me. It's exciting because there is obviously a bit of room for innovation and problem solving (i.e., someone can make money), and horrifying because after spending a billion dollars, something still sucks. Enjoy the beach.