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Squeak! - Breaking the SAN Babble...

Searching for a lingua franca for SAN.

Mouse sized views of the storage market - September 2000

See also:- Squeak! - The 10 biggest storage companies in 2 years time?
See also:- article:- SAN Data Security & Fabric Management - by Datalink
See also:- article:- The Emerging FCIP Standard - by SNIA
See also:- SAN, Articles, Events & trade shows, SAN - software, news

Megabyte is wearing the Advertiser T-Shirt
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Other Squeaks

Squeak! - Which RAID Manufacturers will Survive?

Squeak! - Will Sun Succeed in the STORAGE market? - part 1

Squeak! - Will Sun Succeed in the STORAGE market? - part 2

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Why is today's SAN market so confusing? Every day, I seem to get press releases about companies forming new alliances, new software standards, new dot-orgs and working groups related to Storage Area Networking. Just when you thought it was safe to predict the winners in this race, another contender comes along...

The prize for the winners in the SAN race is very large.

I predict that in 5 years time the world's biggest computer companies will mostly be storage companies, and they won't necessarily be the same companies we know of today as the biggest server or PC makers. That's because SAN technology, when it eventually works properly, will enable buyers in computer networks to make separate choices about:
  • the company which makes the boxes with the servers in (today's example = Sun),
  • and the company which makes the boxes with the desktop machines in (today's example = Dell),
  • and the company which makes the boxes which have the fail safe storage, offsite backup/restore and knowledge about the data value/ownership and routing (the SAN company winner = unknown?).

When you're only a mouse trying to understand what's going on, to avoid making the wrong decisions, it can sometimes seem that you're the only one who doesn't know what's really going on, and the only one that's going to make the wrong decisions. That's probably why the business for SAN seminars and conferences has been booming in the last year. It provides an excellent way of seeing what other confused people are also doing. If everyone jumps in the same direction, it might create some standards right?

I take some comfort from the fact that we've we've seen these kinds of confusing situations in the computer market before. Those of you who are too young to remember, may have to stretch your imaginations here. But think back to what it was like...
  • in the mainframe market - before IBM...
  • in the PC market - before Microsoft...
  • in the minicomputer market - before Unix....
  • in the SAN market - before ???... Yes folks, that's exactly where we are today.

You are not alone... We're all confused! I don't know the answers. Even Spellabyte's crystal ball goes cloudy on this question. We'll just have to wait and see, and in the meantime... Be careful out there.

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