This old-fashioned, predictable storage I/O path was deterministic and decipherable: The server, the switch, and the array all had enough information to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Storage arrays are big, expensive, and difficult to manage. Plus, concentrating storage in a single device puts everything at risk if there is an outage. So why buy a storage array at all? Arrays do a few things very well, and this often makes up for the difference, on balance.
So NetApp is bundling their software for their low-end iSCSI arrays according to CRN. Aah that perennial battle of a la carte pricing versus bundles… Is it better to offer customers everything they might need at a single price or to give them the chance to pick and choose? Let’s think about it…