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Mark Lewis: Page 11 of 15

When we add in the virtualization product, we'll add in visualization capabilities that go beyond the physical view. This will show you how the storage is virtually allocated -- how you have pooled the resources.

Byte and Switch: What is your opinion regarding the battle among different storage transport protocols -- that is, the competition among FC, iSCSI, InfiniBand, etc.? Do you see one protocol winning the market? If so, which? Or, do you think they will coexist within the same SANs?

Mark Lewis: We think that they will coexist, that there are needs. If you look at the setup, we definitely see Fibre Channel SANs lasting for a long, long time, due to its focus on storage protocols, acceptance in the market, and how robust they are today. We see good product needs for iSCSI in wide-area connectivity, and extending the SAN into new areas -- and potentially even using it for low-end SANs as well, where you don't need the bandwidth.

InfiniBand will come along. I'm not sure how needed it will be as a storage interconnect. But the interesting thing that I see is they talk about different protocols, but it is really everyone else acquiescing to the storage protocol we know as SCSI. So, it is really running SCSI over Fibre Channel, or running SCSI over IP. People say, "I need to get some IP-based storage." But, no, you really don't. You're going to get SCSI-based storage that happens to have an IP chip on it, or a GigE chip. To the people building hardware, software, and arrays, it is still SCSI. We're happy as a clam that
Cisco Systems Inc. [Nasdaq: CSCO]
acquiesced to using SCSI. It was really an IP-versus-SCSI war, and they had to layer SCSI on top of it because they were going to lose.

Byte and Switch: Do you see a particular time frame for the dust storm settling itself out?