Editor's note: As part of our 2004 storage predictions series, President & CDS of Dragon Slayer Consulting Marc Staimer lets us know what he sees shaping up in the coming 12 months.
1. Storage array hardware pricing will continue to decline
SATA will become more prevalent
1 terabyte (TB) of SATA RAID storage will likely drop below $10K average sellling price .
1 TB of Fibre Channel (FC) RAID storage will likely drop below $25K average selling price.
Storage array costs will also decline in all markets (SMB, SME, and Enterprise.)
2. Storage array software will be predominantly separated from the hardware and charged separately instead of being bundled
There will be separate license fees for mirroring, snapshot, replication, volume management, SRM, etc.
License fees will be tied to capacity, number of HDDs, or instances (i.e. Number of concurrent snapshots.)
3. FC SAN switches pricing will continue to drop
2 Gbps FC SAN switch hardware pricing will probably drop to less than $500 per port.
2 Gbps FC SAN director hardware pricing will likely drop to less than $900 per port.
There will be a similar software license separation trend similar to the storage arrays.
4. 4Gbps Fibre Channel will be released before the end of 2004 on both Storage Arrays and Fibre Channel switches.
There will be no price premium for 4Gbps FC
5. iSCSI will finally emerge as a viable SAN technology
6. SAN security will likely emerge as an increasing concern
7. Key storage themes in 2004 will be: "simplify, elimination of storage complexity and 'Wizard'-based storage and SANs."