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Storage Virtualization Edges On

This week has seen a flurry of virtualization announcements, with Xen adding iSCSI support to its XenEnterprise offering, and Sanbolic and Tout Virtual bolstering their Microsoft Virtual server stories. (See XenSource Reveals Upgrade, Sanbolic Simplifies Virtual Server, and ToutVirtual Offered With Microsoft.)

These announcements indicate there is much more hype surrounding server (as opposed to storage) virtualization. (See Why Storage Is Boring.) The market for products from vendors such as VMware, Virtual Iron, and Xen appears to have quickly matured over the last couple of years. (See Vendors Push Virtual Security, Virtual Iron Dangles iSCSI Savings, Virtual Iron Inks iSCSI Deal, and XenSource Unveils 3.2.)

Compare this against the storage virtualization market, where Cisco recently revealed plans to "end of life" the file virtualization products from its NeoPath acquisition, leaving users wondering what their next step is. (See Cisco Completes Acquisition and Acopia Plans NeoPath Buyback.)

Storage virtualization is still very much in its infancy, according to NeoPath customer Jim Poehlman, chief information technologist of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based manufacturing firm Ubicom. "I am seeing things right now at the very beginning -- I am going to wait and see what Cisco does," he says.

Despite this week's news, the exec told Byte and Switch that he is still optimistic about the future of storage virtualization: "Cisco buying NeoPath says to me that they believe in [the technology]."

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