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Intelligent Switches, et al.

Here we are, a few days from the start of testing for the Storage Pipeline "Intelligent Switch" review.
Interestingly enough, after wending my way through the learning curve of intelligent switching - there is a LOT that you have to know beyond basic FC stuff - I feel I'm ready to begin testing, but do not yet have a feature chart or report card set in stone.
Now honestly, if I was a vendor, that would make me very afraid. But the fact is that I took a ton of vendor input to this process so that I could come up with testing that was fair and as unbiased as possible. I say unbiased as possible because your environment is not my testing environment, so there will be some differences in what we look for. My goal is to impart as much useful information about the market and the products as possible. This market is so new that it still has the "for sale" tag on it, meaning there's a lot of FUD and not much fact out there.

So my job on Monday is to set the report card and grading in stone. I have a call next Friday with a vendor that might make minor tweaks, but I really need to assure my vendors that before the first product goes on the line I know what I'm looking for. They want to know it's fair, and in today's IT publishing world I do not blame then for that one bit.

I still find it funny when I say this market is that new, don't you? Five years ago people were press releasing on this very topic, and yet I could only find seven vendors to invite, and only four of those felt their products were read and they fit into the space.
Anyway, watch this space as the next few months as we put these products through their paces. They all have different architectures and approach the problem in slightly different manners - signs of a good review, but also signs of a maturing space. That will make some interesting side conversation here in the blog.
If you have thoughts on when intelligence in the fabric is important to you, or want to chat about your experiences, don't hesitate to email me - click on the "your blog editor" picture, and my email is on that link - I'm definitely interested in hearing from you.