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Based on QLogic, Emulex, Brocade and Cisco results, my predictions were right on target for the FC segment. Grade: A
I was pretty darn close with the iSCSI segment. 10 Gbit iSCSI is out and available with copper (as well as low-cost optical). ISCSI SANs did pick up momentum albeit, not as much as I expected. Still, pretty close: Grade A-
Looking at the results from NetApp, EMC, BlueArc, Isilon, ONStor, Exanet and others makes it look like I hit another home run. Grade A+
Okay, I missed a bit on CDP becoming table stakes. It has become an important piece of the data protection market, just not table stakes. The rest came true. Grade B-
Had another miss with DRO becoming a standard data center replication feature in 2006. And since Microsoft just released Vista (I had a little too much faith in Microsoft delivering on its earlier '06 schedule) WAFS did not grow as much as I suggested. Grade D
SAN block storage virtualization
Didn't happen quite that way. EMC's Invista is still not truly generally available and won't be for some time. IBM's SVC had a good year and Incipient finally released its NSP. StoreAge continued to get traction (and got bought by LSI in the process). And looks like Cloverleaf started to make some significant sales and inroads. However, in spite of all this, block storage virtualization is not quite mainstream yet. Grade C
Overall grade: B
Frankly, I did not go too far out on a limb with my predictions last year. This year I will. Here are my prognostications for 2007:
- FRCP (Federal Rules for Civil Procedures) will have the attention of legal counsel and the IT department in many companies and especially public ones. Expect FRCP to increase significantly the adoption rate of unstructured data classification from vendors, such as Abrevity, EMC, Kazeon (as well as NetApp's OEM version), Scentric and StoredIQ. Also, expect sales of email archival systems as well as CAS (Assureon from Nexsan, CAStor from Caring, and Centera from EMC) increase as a result of FRCP.
- Unified storage systems (combined file and block storage target systems) will become increasingly attractive in 2007 (BlueArc, NetApp, and Pillar Data), because of their ease of use and simplicity.
- Distributed ROBO backup to disk (Asigra, CommVault EMC/Avamar, eVault, Iron Mountain, Signiant, Symantec) will emerge as the fastest growing data protection solution in 2007.
- 2007 will be remembered as the year iSCSI SAN took off because of the much reduced pricing for 10 Gbit iSCSI and the continued deployment of 10 Gbit iSCSI targets.
- CDP will emerge as an important feature on comprehensive data protection data protection products (Asigra, Commvault, EMC/Kashya, Iron Mountain/Live Vault, Symantec) instead of a separate managed product).
- The VTL market growth will continue at a much reduced rate as backup products provide equivalent features directly to disk. Deduplication will extend the VTL market temporarily in 2007.
- And finally, really going out on limb here, optical storage that looks, feels and acts like NAS (Plasmon and PowerFile) and puts archive data online, will make dramatic inroads in 2007. With Blu-ray deploying in 2007, price per terabyte will rival tape without the hassles of tape or having to ever rewrite the data or worrying about media defects.
I hope you all have a happy and prosperous New Year!