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Storage Afterthoughts

Does storage get the respect it deserves?

It's a question worth asking. HP's plan to buy Opsware for $1.6 billion, for instance, raises questions about how far HP is willing to go to support storage as part of its overall data center automation strategy. (See HP to Buy Opsware for $1.6B.)

Even as execs on HP's M&A conference call today bragged about the importance of the planned merger, it was clear that storage wasn't necessarily top of mind.

Describing the growth of IT, Opsware CEO and co-founder Ben Horowitz cited server growth, not storage: "We're on the verge of the largest IT buildout in history," he said. In 1995, he noted, more than 500,000 servers were deployed, whereas last year, 7 million were sold. Labor costs have gone up sixfold to cope with the burgeoning growth and complexity of today's data centers.

But asked to comment specifically on the importance of storage, Horowitz and his new boss, SVP of HP software Tom Hogan, spoke straight from the script. "The explosion in digitized content is fueling the proliferation of storage infrastructure. There's inevitable growth in the trajectory of the storage marketplace," said Hogan.

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