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.
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.
Microsoft is about to release the third major revision to their ubiquitous network storage protocol, SMB. Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3 will really highlight this technology, and I predict it will transform the way people think about networked storage for Windows systems. But SMB 3 is big in another way, too: there are tons of new features, and not all will be implemented by everyone.
The storage and networking industry is pushing for high-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and its dominance of FCoE seems almost certain to many industry watchers. But where is Microsoft when it comes to FCoE? Put simply, Microsoft does not seem to be participating in FCoE development, either on the initiator or target side.
It’s fun to bash Microsoft. It’s easy, too, with Apple solidly conquering the high end of the PC and mobile markets and Google’s command of the Internet. But how fair are these articles skewering Microsoft, such as “Microsoft’s chronic lack of innovation” published today at Techworld? I suggest that Microsoft innovates as well as, if not better than, any other massive company. But no one innovates like an outsider.