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Scary Stories

5:30 PM -- Like all industries, storage has its share of goblins, those ugly creatures that make life difficult with their evil intentions. Unfortunately, they don't only pop out on Halloween -- this is just the day when we pay most attention.

So we'll use this appropriate day to identify the peskiest of storage annoyances:

Interoperability: For all the talk about standards and compatibility among vendors, too many users still say a heterogeneous storage setup is too difficult to manage. That limits them from upgrading to new technology until their current vendor offers it, leading to the next goblin...

Vendor Lock-in: We all know by now that information lifecycle management (ILM) was originally conceived by large storage companies as a way to coax customers into buying only their gear. For all the talk about storage virtualization, we've seen little evidence that vendors actually want to make it easy to use their storage alongside their competitors. Subsystem and Fibre Channel switch vendors are the worst offenders, but not the only ones.

Overhype: Even the best storage technologies need time before they're ready for public consumption. How many times did the "Year of iSCSI" pass before iSCSI started making sense to customers? The time will come for 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, storage virtualization, serial attached SCSI (SAS), and continuous data protection (CDP) too. But not until organizations figure out the best place for them. For now, they're little more than a good idea for most shops.

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