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November 4, 2002—In this issue:
- Sluggish Sales Could Lead to Restructured Storage Market
2. NEWS AND VIEWS/P>
- Give Us Your Feedback and Be Entered to Win a Digital Camera
- The Storage Solutions You've Been Searching for!
4. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Windows .NET Server 2003 Storage Capabilities
- New Instant Poll: Microsoft's New Licensing 6.0
- Storage Highlight: Your Role in SEC Compliance
- Submit Top Product Ideas
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Dot Hill Systems Provides Online Technical Support to Customers
- Transfer Data at High Speeds
7. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
Overall spending for storage systems sank in 2001 for the first time in 10 years and will not significantly rebound this year, according to "SAN and NAS 2002 Report," a recent research report from Peripheral Concepts (see URL below). According to the study, spending on Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), and Storage Area Networks (SANs) dropped to $23.5 billion in 2001, down from $24.5 billion in 2000. The company projects that in 2002, spending will hit only $24.1 billion—less than the 2000 peak.
Third-quarter earnings reports from several major storage technology suppliers appear to support that projection. In October, market leader EMC announced that third-quarter revenues had climbed a scant 4 percent compared to the third quarter last year. VERITAS Software stated that sales rose 7.5 percent in the quarter ending September 30, while storage-network software vendor McDATA forecast a revenue increase of 5 percent in the third quarter. Senior officials from all these companies suggested that they don't anticipate a rebound in corporate spending on storage solutions this year. Several Wall Street analysts who follow this sector have echoed that view.
Although EMC and other storage companies eked out modest revenue growth, other companies in the sector didn't fare as well. Adaptec, a manufacturer of storage-access solutions, anticipates that its third-quarter revenues might fall as much as 20 percent. But QLogic, a manufacturer of components for storage networks, experienced a better-than-expected 19 percent jump in revenues.
The overall industry growth numbers might mask the underlying trends. Perhaps the most significant development is that total demand for storage capacity has slowed considerably. According to Peripheral Concepts, overall demand for storage capacity grew only 30 percent last year, down from an average growth of 60 percent a year in each of the past 5 years. Interestingly, the slowdown in the need for storage capacity is most evident in the data center. According to EMC, information systems sales dropped 15 percent last quarter, led by declining sales of EMC's high-end Symmetrix storage technology.
For the time being, companies are meeting the need for more storage capacity by consolidating resources and better using existing infrastructure as much as by adding new systems. Consequently, NAS and SAN continue to be compelling solutions. According to Peripheral Concepts, revenues from SAN grew 18 percent last year, while NAS sales grew 35 percent. NAS and SAN more than doubled in both 1999 and 2000. Peripheral Concepts projects SAN sales at $5.8 billion this year, with NAS revenues reaching $3 billion.
Another market research company, Pioneer Consulting (see URL below) is even more bullish on SANs, believing that SAN technology will generate $7.5 billion in revenue this year and reach $84 billion in 2007. SAN will grow at the expense of DAS, Pioneer Consulting analysts argue, and IP-SAN, which will prove to be the least expensive route to a SAN network, will emerge as the market leader.
In the interim, sluggish market conditions might lead to dramatic changes in the industry, with several established participants restructuring their businesses while new companies make their way into the market. Already, Quantum has announced that it will spin off its NAS division into a new company called Snap Appliance; Quantum itself will focus on what it calls data-protection products. And, of course, IBM's is in the process of exiting the hard disk drive manufacturing business.
But as companies cut back and focus their efforts, an 800-pound gorilla is about to enter the arena. By December, Cisco Systems is expected to launch its first networking products for the storage sector. Cisco's entry definitively signals the emergence of storage as a network technology. Within the context of slow sales, new winners and losers will emerge, reshaping the competitive landscape over the next several years.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
Users who plan to upgrade to Microsoft's next OS server—Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 (see first URL below)—shouldn't expect native support for Internet SCSI (iSCSI), according to a Microsoft executive. At Storage Networking World in Orlando, Florida, Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division, said that Microsoft won't be including an iSCSI drive in the upcoming OS. Many users had hoped that the company would include a native driver, but the lack of a finalized iSCSI standard has put those plans on hold. According to Adam, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) hasn't officially ratified the iSCSI protocol, and Microsoft doesn't want to include prestandard support (see second URL below).
"Yes, we'll support it," Adam said. "We always said we'll support it. But the ship vehicle will depend on when \[iSCSI\] is ratified ... and we'd rather wait for the standard." Microsoft expects IETF to ratify the standard by the end of the year; company support will follow soon afterward. Microsoft expects to ship support through a Web download or in a future service pack. For now, customers who want to use iSCSI will have to continue to use third-party drivers.
On the 1-year anniversary of the alliance between EMC and Dell, the two companies announced a new storage system, called the CLARiiON CX200. EMC designed and branded the CLARiiON CX200, and Dell will manufacture the unit. EMC, Dell, and other EMC partners will sell the CLARiiON CX200, targeting the product as an entry-level Storage Area Network (SAN) system. Pricing for the unit, which will support more than 2TB of storage, will start at $30,000—about half the price of the CLARiiON CX400, the next model up in EMC's CLARiiON line. The new storage system is modular, and users can swap storage processors to upgrade to the CLARiiON CX400 or CLARiiON CX600 networked storage systems. CLARiiON CX200 will be available in December.
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4. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "How likely are you to use the upcoming storage capabilities in Windows .NET Server 2003?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 57 votes.
30%—Very likely 32%—Somewhat likely 12%—Unlikely 5%—Undecided
The current Instant Poll question is, "How do you plan to deal with Microsoft's new Licensing 6.0?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) We plan to sign up for the standard License (L) program, b) We plan to sign up for License and Software Assurance (L&SA), c) We plan to sign up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA), d) We're considering switching to a non-Microsoft product, or e) We don't use Microsoft products.
Each month, the Storage Admin channel highlights several articles about important storage topics such as backup and recovery, storage-related hardware and software, and application-specific storage. This week, take a look at Sheila Childs's "SEC Compliance and Storage Management." Sheila discusses the storage administrator's role in meeting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations regarding management of and access to electronic records.
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Dot Hill Systems announced SANsolve, a service that provides a free online knowledge-base and call-center interface so that customers can initiate and track support problems in realtime. For example, if a company knows that it needs a replacement part for a machine, the user can enter the request online and the company delivers a replacement part the next morning. Contact Dot Hill Systems at 800-872-2783 or [email protected].
Quantum announced the SDLT 320, a high-capacity tape drive that holds 320GB of compressed data and can transfer data at rates as fast as 32Mbps. The SDLT 320 features backward read-and-write compatibility with SDLT 220. Pricing for the SDLT 320 drive starts at $4495. Contact Quantum at 408-944-4000.
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