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More Than Just Words

In an industry that calls something a storage area network that isnt a network at all, you should expect a bit of fast-and-loose playing with words.

Case in point: Sometime soon, one vendor will tout its latest Fibre Channel fabric innovation as a “SAN within a SAN” – following on the heels of another announcement awhile back that extolled the merits of something called a “SAN in a box.”

Both terms are oxymoronical in the extreme, of course, if not downright funny. But consumers seem content to adopt the position I take with my autistic son as he draws motion picture studio logos in chalk on every door in the house: Just look the other way.

This raises the perennial question of the importance of language – especially when it comes to marketing. To the product marketer, words are tools. They are used to re-contextualize, spin, and dumb down whatever information or position the vendor wants to communicate.

For instance, Fibre Channel is a network protocol because Cisco Systems – that onetime passionate advocate of iSCSI, now turned Fibre Channel switch vendor – says that it is.

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