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Leap of Faith

3:00 PM -- Storage networking is increasingly a black art. Gone are the days when a supplier could entice IT pros with sleek monoliths visibly geared to their storage requirements. Instead of cables, disks, and plugs, a prospective buyer is just as apt to be wooed with unseen wares: de-duplicators, virtualization chips, CDP software, WAN compression algorithms, and the like.

To make matters even sketchier, much of the time, the promised snakeoil -- er, feature -- is part of a "roadmap," that is to say, unavailable at present but promised in the future.

The product roadmap is so common these days that it's entered the lexicon of storage purchasing. That doesn't mean it's any less risky.

Accepting a roadmap is a leap of faith. Like any other trust issue, it's an individual call. Perhaps a vendor has already lived up to other promises. Maybe execs offer clear evidence of what they're developing. Perhaps there's something in it for the customer, like a sizeable discount or even a freebie.

What gives you faith in a roadmap? We'd like like to hear more from you. Post us a message below, and take our latest poll.

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