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?
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.
No small storage company has had more press coverage and “buzz” than “ioMemory” maker, Fusion-io. I have long marveled at the company’s ability to attract attention, but this has rub some analysts wrong. How, they argue, as component vendors enter their space, can a premium company with proprietary products compete over the long term?
Cisco made a massive strategic blunder in the last decade, aggressively moving into consumer devices rather than focusing on their core enterprise and service provider markets. It seems that Cisco is now in the process of rectifying this mistake, but charting a path to growth is an entirely different matter!