re: Biggest Storage Trend of 2012
Great post as always George and appreciate your reference to the company I work for namely Virtual Instruments. We've definitely seen the 'Virtual Sprawl' this year as non-SLA linked apps are happily being virtualised without much contention or fear now that the 'businesses' have understood the benefits of virtualization.
It's the potential 'Virtual Stall' of going that extra yard and taking the risk to virtualise your key critical applications that will be interesting to watch. Hence I strongly concur with you that "Performance Management" holds the key to ensuring that risk and performance degradation is not introduced into any potential proposals for the virtualisation of mission critical applications.
With that said it can only successfully be done by "real-time" millisecond monitoring. While there's a lot of claims by vendors that they are indeed "real-time" the average end user is unaware that they are being sold a marketing gimmick that hides the fact that their metrics are based on averages.
The utopia would be as you've stated a one dashboard performance management pane that allows you to see all the way from the app to the VM, across the SAN, all the way to the backend of the Storage. If 2012 is the year where Performance Management takes precedent, I don't think we will be that far away (-:
All the best