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Mark Lewis: Page 10 of 15

Byte and Switch: A point I'd like to clarify is that in moving from a distributed-storage architecture to a networked environment, there is one level of savings. Then, in moving to virtualization, there is a second level of savings. How would you characterize those two levels?

Lewis: You're right. One of the reasons we're talking so much about virtualization now, even though we're a year away from delivering product, is simply that you have to have the base network in place in order to add virtualization. It is a value-add software, that requires the network to operate. If you haven't built the storage area network, then the virtualization layer is ineffective.

There is a study published by The Enterprise Storage Group Inc.'s Steve Duplessie. His findings were that [by moving from distributed storage to a SAN] you increase management effectiveness by 3.7 times. That was customer feedback. Capacity utilization also has the same sort of effect. In a distributed storage environment, utilization is only at 50 percent, while I was talking about 75 percent in current SANs.

Byte and Switch: Do you see virtualization and visualization going hand-in-hand?

Lewis: Absolutely. And you need multiple layers of visualization. We have SANWorks Network View today, which is a physical visualization of the SAN -- it draws the SAN out, how it is connected -- the box-to-box connections, which is an important element of management. When you are looking at performance management, looking at choke points, and so forth, you need a physical view.