In 1980 I was working for Datapoint, a vendor with proprietary client hardware, proprietary server hardware, a proprietary LAN, and proprietary systems software. In 1983 IBM introduced the PC, and in 1985 it introduced the PC-XT with a hard disk. 3Com introduced Ethernet, and Novell created a network operating system. All of a sudden, Datapoint was on the wrong side of history in the computer business. In five short years, Datapoint went from six thousand employees to sixty.
Is Shared Enterprise Storage on the Wrong Side of History?
To date, shared enterprise storage has been the beneficiary of two huge trends in the computer industry: data center virtualization (which basically needs shared storage for certain highly valuable features such as vMotion to work), and big data, which produces so much data that large-scale arrays are needed. Shared enterprise storage arrays also sport a variety of highly attractive enterprise-class features like redundancy (no single point of failure), deduplication (saving on disk space and cost), and the ability to move bits around as business needs dictate. These arrays also have a huge amount of hardware engineering behind them, designed to allow them to offer excellent performance at scale to their customers.