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First Person: Storage Common Sense on the Other Side of the Globe

Runaway Vendors

To make matters worse, many U.S. vendors have reduced their presence in South America and Down Under. With fewer product options available, IT professionals in those locations are often forced to buy the least cost-effective solutions. They get the sense that U.S. vendors consider them too difficult to do business with because of language barriers, import duties and other obstacles.

This perception isn't unfounded. One vendor rep told me he's not interested in South America because of the huge education investment required. Others said they're focusing on China instead--this despite its relatively immature IT market, not to mention the fact that China recently required a multitrillion-dollar bailout of its banking system (orchestrated by private U.S. investors). Curiously, little effort has been made to spread the word about iSCSI to South America or Australia, both of which are well-positioned to take advantage of the burgeoning interconnect.

Great iSCSI Fit

During my whirlwind tour, I saw an almost ideal fit for iSCSI: companies with an abundance of small servers, each with dedicated storage arrays, running mostly small databases and front- and back-office applications. Boasting well-defined IP networks with talented professionals to run them, these enterprises are looking to store their data more efficiently without having to buy expensive, monolithic, single-vendor, hard-to-manage platforms or fabrics. Sounds like a "green field" sales opportunity, if ever there was one.

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