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Upgrade, Or Make Do

The spring trade shows loom, and futurizing is at an all-time high. Vendors everywhere are readying a fresh crop of hype to spade out in San Diego or Las Vegas. Chances are, at least a few suppliers have "reached out" to discuss their upcoming products and services with you before the shows, or to invite you to a private audience once you're there.

If so, you'll recognize a few of this year's pet topics: 10-Gbit/s Ethernet (plain, over copper, as a service, in SANs, etc.); tiered storage (with SAS, with SAS and SATA II, with Fibre Channel, with all of the foregoing); virtualization; autonomic data center management; energy efficiency; and managed services to name just a few.

The wheels are grinding. Members of the Ethernet Alliance consortium, for instance, have let slip that member companies plan a 10GBase-T plugfest at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab in April, followed by demos at the Interop show in May. (See 10GBase-T Compliance in Doubt.) The point will be to show the world the advent of cheaper, faster data center connectivity based on standard copper-driven Ethernet.

At the same time, serial-attached SCSI components are popping up everywhere, heralding an alternative to Fibre Channel in tiered storage. (See SAS Wave Breaks Big.)

And let's not forget virtualization, where startups and existing companies vie for faster, more efficient ways to capitalize on underlying hardware. (See Seanodes Sets Sail and Insider Eyes Virtual Desktops.)

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