So, after some holiday time of and taking care of some unexpected family business, it's time to get back into the swing of things for 2010. I thought I'd kick off the new-year with a set of predictions. But rather than do an all-encompassing set of industry predictions, I've decided to start with companies starting with an "E" first and then move on from there. Here is how I see things unfolding for three "E" vendors in the IT space in 2010. We can match them up to actual events at the end of the year.
EMC will continue to take market share in the high-end storage space and will introduce even more innovations on its V-MAX platform, particularly in the areas of network connectivity, scalability, performance and optimization for highly virtualized environments.
Should EMC meet their publicly discussed time frames for the release of the full-fledged version (sub-LUN optimization) of Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST), they will have no equal in the enterprise storage space when it hits the market. FAST's ability to optimize storage utilization and improve application performance across IT environments will bring new buyers into the Symmetrix fold.
As EMC continues to benefit from Intel's performance curve, the company is positioned to extend its customers the benefits of Intel's new 8-core Xeon Nehalem EX processors this year, which would mean a very large performance boost and lower power consumption for Symmetrix buyers. Analytico highly encourages other storage vendors to step up their storage array development cycles and rapidly bring competitive innovation to their products, or risk falling behind, or further behind, EMC as the year moves on.
Emulex continues to make desperate marketing moves to try and tout its Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA) but fails to demonstrate substantial OEM design wins for the product. The company has shacked up with Blade Network Technology in a confusing alliance around 10GbE and seemingly has announced the same thing - three times: that IBM will use its re-badged NIC, sourced from ServerEngines, for Ethernet connectivity, not FCoE. (Note to Emulex Marketing: There is no need to announce this a fourth time....)
Emulex also announced an "exclusive design win" with Verari for FCoE, but then Verari collapsed three days after Emulex's glowing announcement. Now, Emulex is going on about how its UCNA offers "one million IOPs" of performance as compared to Brocade and QLogic. It's a safe bet that the major OEMs have known about UCNA's performance capabilities for at least the past 12 months, so why haven't they awarded any FCoE design wins to the product? Could it be because there is no support agreement in place between ServerEngines and Emulex? Analytico believes that as long as Emulex continues to rely on ServerEngines for its Ethernet stack, the long-term fate of the UCNA is uncertain, particularly with industry sources still indicating that LSI is in discussions to acquire ServerEngines. The threat here is that LSI could decide to be an FCoE supplier themselves and nix Emulex out of the supply loop.Tom Trainer is founder and president of analyst firm Analytico. Prior to founding Analytico, Trainer was Principal Storage Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat, and Director of Marketing at Gluster prior to its acquisition by Red Hat. Tom has worked as managing senior partner ... View Full Bio