QUESTION: In your opinion, is there a market for application-specific storage systems? For example, a storage system integrated from disk to controller to software for Exchange. If so, what is a typical customer profile and what are the apps best suitable for such systems?
ANSWER: Yes, I think there is a market for application specific storage systems. The question is, is the market big enough to justify the effort and costs. The DAFS NAS offerings today can be thought of as application-specific storage systems since they are sold to work with databases. I think e-mail and databases make the most sense because they have some special characteristics and are crucial to businesses such that they will pay more for a product. I would think the customer has to be a larger company to afford to pay extra.