Storage UPDATE--Storage Tea Leaves--November 1, 2004

This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, which offer products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for Storage UPDATE.


Free White Paper: High Availability for Windows Services


1. Commentary
- Reading the Tea Leaves in Enterprise Storage

2. Resource
- Imaging Software Help

3. New and Improved
- Nexsan Complements Microsoft and QLogic
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

==== Sponsor: EMC ====

Want to improve your Exchange server performance while reducing backup and restore times by up to 80 percent? Speed legal discovery response time from weeks to hours? Now there's a better way to protect, manage, and archive e-mail: EMC Express Solution for E-Mail. This powerful solution simplifies e-mail lifecycle management, speeds backup and restore, and extends mailbox size--all while reducing risk and cost. To find out more, visit:


==== 1. Commentary ====
by Elliot King, [email protected]

Reading the Tea Leaves in Enterprise Storage
A series of recently issued market research studies and company earnings reports reveals the crosscurrents at work in the enterprise storage market. On one hand, the high-end storage arena is in the middle of a hardware product-transition cycle, a transition that's had an impact not only on the hardware vendors but also on the Fibre Channel SAN arena. On the other hand, EMC is using the transition to shift the rules of the game. Instead of providing storage management, EMC--which has completed three major software acquisitions--is positioning itself as a data-management company in which software and services are as important as hardware. How these crosscurrents work themselves out could have a significant influence on the nature of storage in the future.
Perhaps the most intriguing evidence of the enterprise storage market's new direction is a recent report from the Yankee Group. The report shows that the Fibre Channel component market declined in second quarter 2004 compared to first quarter 2004. The market researchers' second-quarter revenue estimate of $415.49 million is also below the average quarterly revenues of $475.8 million that Fibre Channel SAN racked up in 2003. According to the study, the Fibre Channel SAN component market showed weakness across the board in the second quarter. Each major segment--switches, directors, and host bus adapters (HBAs)--showed sequential declines from the first quarter 2004 to second quarter 2004. Only the director segment, which generated $132.8 million in second quarter 2004, showed growth compared to the average quarterly sales in 2003. That year, the director sector recorded sales of $117.7 million per quarter on average. As a result of second quarter 2004 performance, the Yankee Group now believes that only the director segment will hit earlier sales forecasts, and the sector as a whole could fall as much as 20 percent below earlier forecasts.
Yankee Group analysts offer several reasons for the dismal performance. Over the past year, Fibre Channel SAN vendors have targeted smaller enterprises, a move that has led to earnings declines. Moreover, the use of IP SAN has grown, so vendors have broadened their product portfolios. But perhaps most tellingly, large enterprises have held off investing in their storage infrastructure, thanks to the product-transition cycle that's underway at the high end.
The impact of the product transition is obvious in the third-quarter earnings reports from Hitachi, HP, and IBM. At IBM, despite a 27 percent increase in the midrange disk category, overall disk storage revenue dropped 1 percent year over year. According to Merrill Lynch analysts, that drop indicates that sales of IBM's high-end Shark fell dramatically in the third quarter. Indeed, according to Merrill Lynch, IBM's mainframe storage business dropped 26 percent in the third quarter. At HP, storage revenues dropped 15 percent year over year, with online storage falling a whopping 23 percent. Hitachi also turned in a weak performance in enterprise storage, according to a channel check conducted by Merrill Lynch researchers. In each case, buyers were waiting for new technology scheduled to appear on the market beginning in December.
However, the story is dramatically different at EMC, where revenues jumped 34 percent and net income jumped 37 percent compared to the same quarter in 2003. Core revenue--excluding the revenue generated by Documentum, Legato, and VMware--was up 19 percent.
Clearly, EMC gained market share at the expense of Hitachi and IBM, but those gains might be short-lived. The next generation of high-end, high-performance enterprise storage products from both Hitachi and IBM offer impressive technical specifications, and many industry observers anticipate that the new technology will help those companies regain lost ground. EMC, for its part, has also indicated that it's readying a new generation of technology that will catapult it back into the performance lead.
But, although EMC seems ready to fight the good fight of hardware specifications, something more significant might be underway. EMC is focused more on Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and the software applications necessary to manage data storage over time rather than on the underlying hardware. Indeed, storage might now follow the same model as computing, in which the underlying hardware has increasingly become a commodity item, and most of the significant differentiation comes much further up the technology stack.
Over time, storage could emerge as a completely separate IT infrastructure, requiring a separate management strategy and separate tools. Enterprises would have production systems on which to generate data and an independent infrastructure in which to manage the data after it's produced. Should such a scenario come to pass, many IT organizations would be facing a major restructuring effort.
Comment on this article at

==== Sponsor: Free White Paper: High Availability for Windows Services ====

It is no stretch to say that Windows high availability must be a fundamental element in your short- and long-term strategic IT planning. This free white paper discusses the core issues surrounding Windows high availability, with a focus on business drivers and benefits. You'll learn about the current market solutions, technologies and real-world challenges including cost-benefit analyses. Plus, find out how to assess technical elements required in choosing a high availability solution, including the robustness of the technology, time-to-failover, and implementation difficulties. Download this white paper now!

==== Hot Release: Bringing High-Density, Low-Cost Blade Servers to Your Business ====

This white paper describes the long-term value and return on investment that blade servers offer by addressing the process of standing up and maintaining a blade server in a hands-on approach. Find out how you can improve service and save money. Download this free white paper now!

==== Announcements ====
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Subscribe Now to Windows IT Pro with Exclusive Online Access!
Windows & .NET Magazine is now Windows IT Pro! Act now to get the November issue, which features a Linux primer for Windows administrators, the how-tos of making NTBackup work, and a checklist for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. You'll save 30% off the cover price and receive exclusive subscriber-only access to our entire online library with your paid subscription! This is a limited-time offer, so click here to order today!

Get a Quick Reference Guide to the Latest Antispam Developments
A recent survey shows that spam is the number one pain point for IT pros, and spammers find new methods to avoid filters every day. Counter spam by learning the essentials for ensuring user productivity, increasing mail-server efficiency, decreasing storage requirements, managing bandwidth, and controlling TCO. Download this free, quick reference guide now!

Are You Using Virtualization Technology? If So, You Could Be a Virtualization Hero!
Share your experiences using virtualization (aka virtual machine) products to solve IT and business problems. Enter the Windows IT Pro Virtualization Hero contest, and tell us how you used virtualization technology in innovative ways to benefit your business. Winners will receive a copy of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. Also, you can post a comment in our Virtualization Technology blog, moderated by members of Microsoft's Virtual Server team. To enter the blog and for a link to the contest, click here:

==== 2. Resource ====

Imaging Software Help
Forum member twista704nbt needs to find some software to help him automate computer imaging. The problem is as follows: "I want to image computers 1-5 from my desk instead of going to each computer and pointing it to where the image is located." To get more details or help a fellow IT pro, click below.

==== Event ====
(brought to you by Windows IT Pro)

Securing Your Organization's Messaging Traffic
In this free Web seminar, security expert Randy Franklin Smith will take a high-level look at the current security trends in the industry, the emerging threats, and the threats that have become passe. Plus, you’ll learn about the commonly held misconceptions about security patches and which kinds of attacks companies are reporting in increased numbers. Register now!

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Jason Bovberg, [email protected]

Nexsan Complements Microsoft and QLogic
Nexsan Technologies announced that its InfiniSAN disk-based storage systems will be tested to work with Windows Server 2003 Virtual Disk Service (VDS) and applications that support VDS, as well as QLogic SANsurfer VDS Manager, an application that complements Windows' command-line interface with a GUI for point-and-click volume management. The Windows-based solution from Nexsan and QLogic simplifies storage management for small and midsized businesses, lowering the cost of a customer's storage infrastructure. For more information about this development, contact Nexsan or QLogic on the Web.

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]


==== Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected]
About the newsletter -- [email protected]
About technical questions --
About product news -- [email protected]
About your subscription -- [email protected]
About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today.

Manage Your Account
You are subscribed as #EmailAddr#.

You received this email message because you asked to receive additional information about products and services from the Windows IT Pro Network. To immediately unsubscribe, click this link:
Thank you!

View the Windows IT Pro privacy policy at

Windows IT Pro, a division of Penton Media, Inc.
221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538
Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2004, Penton Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

TAGS: Windows 8
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.