Microsoft’s place in the datacenter is secure, and Windows Server really hums with SMB 2/3 storage. The enterprise storage industry needed an alternative to Samba and do-it-yourself SMB servers, and it’s good to see Visuality Systems step up with NQ Storage. Although I have not seen it in action, their OEM claims sound good and their roadmap looks right.
Way back in the 1990’s, UNIX admins delighted in upgrading from NFSv2 to NFSv3. Then NFSv4 came around and … crickets. Now VMware has become the first major/useful/mainstream application for NFSv4.1, so the floodgates are open! But are they?
It’s clear how this fairy tale ends. So many companies are using “S3 plus” as their standard interface, and even inside their solutions, that it’s safe to say it’s won the cloud storage API battle. But S3 isn’t a finalized spec – the industry will extend and improve it over the coming years. Soon we’ll have a cloud storage standard based on S3, just like we have a LAN file services standard based on CIFS.
Industry watchers like me have long wondered when Cisco will transform itself into a full-line IT infrastructure vendor. This strategy was tipped in 2009 as Cisco barged into the server market with UCS. But one leg of the stool is still missing: Storage remains the province of Cisco partners like EMC and NetApp.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) has always looked a bit like a solution in search of a problem, at least in the enterprise data center. But there are lots of potential applications that need a dynamic and scalable network. In my mind, storage is chief among these, since scalability and flexibility has always been extremely difficult to achieve.
Everyone is talking about â€œsoftware-definedâ€ everything lately, so it was only a matter of time before industry buzz turned to software-defined storage. VMware and EMC really stoked the flames with a constant barrage of marketing directed in this direction. But how exactly do you software-define storage? And what does this mean?
It takes a truly-remarkable leader to be willing to kill his old golden geese to make room for a new one; so far, only Apple and Amazon seem willing to forgo continuity in the name of profitable destruction. But new corporate leadership at Microsoft might un-stick the company and awaken the once-innovative Redmond powerhouse. The retirement of Steve Ballmer is welcome news.
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VMware is in an enviable but tricky situation: The company must work closely with hardware partners, keeping these prime sales and promotional channels happy and supportive. But VMware must also innovate around proprietary OEMs, subverting their products with integrated software before a rival steps up with an integrated alternative.
Release after release, Microsoft pushes Windows forward. Yet the operating system is continually undermined by the “value-focused” low-end machines pushed by the majority of OEMs. This race to the bottom has tarnished Windows for a decade and now threatens to derail Windows 8. Microsoft must do something to stop the crap before it’s too late!