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.