Analyst Q&A on IBM, question one

Industry gurus Randy Kerns and Peter Gerr shed light on IBM's strengths and weaknesses

What are some of IBM's strongest storage products -- the ones that will still be around in three to five years?

Randy Kerns: Probably all of IBM's current products will be around in some form in three to five years. Their SAN Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization software will see significant advancement in that time, particularly for use as a consolidation solution. The SAN File System will be around for some time as the adoption rate for this type of solution will be very measured.

Peter Gerr: The FAStT line of disk arrays is among the best available for the mid-range, and IBM continues to invest heavily in them. At the enterprise level, while the Shark array has struggled in the past to compete with the Hitachi Data Systems and EMC offerings, it is now a solid performer and will continue to be a strategic product. From a storage management perspective, the TotalStorage and Tivoli family of products is deep and powerful. IBM is increasingly integrating their TotalStorage Software products into systems and network management tools as well as application and content management tools. More recently, the company has really innovated with its SAN Volume Controller and SAN File System. I think it has proven that multivendor virtualization is possible and that users want it.

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