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Storage Pipeline: First Person: Whose Storage Is It, Anyway?

From the storage manager's perspective, though, the blame belongs squarely on
the vendors' doorsteps. Marketing hype has made it almost impossible to separate
fact from fiction when it comes to storage gear.

To make matters worse, some storage vendors include a gag order of sorts in
their product warranties, restricting their customers from making public
statements about their products' performance. But if storage managers can't get
real-world feedback from their peers, how can they make wise choices?

Standards? What Standards?

Another contributing factor to bad storage decisions: Vendors resist the
creation of open standards because they fear commoditization and a corresponding
plunge in profits. Each vendor aims to establish its proprietary storage
technology as the de facto standard and, consequently, there's no guarantee any
two vendors' products will interoperate.

In the absence of standards, vendors rely on API (application programming
interface) "swaps" and "plugfests" to achieve a modicum of cooperation between
disparate products. API swaps amount to little more than tactical treaties
between players, delivering value to consumers only as long as the vendors reap
commercial reward. Similarly, plugfests are vendors' attempts to develop
work-arounds that enable their products to interoperate.

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