VARs Find the Hype 'Exasperating

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Two buzzwords, storage and virtualization, are coming together. Here's how to sort the myths from reality.


Adam Binder, CEO of storage, networking and data center VAR Arcscale, says the hype over storage virtualization is exasperating. He says Web 2.0 companies like Google are pushing federated storage spread out over multiple physical and virtual servers, even though the concept has been around for years.

"I think virtualization is in jeopardy of becoming like the word Kleenex. It's losing its meaning, because everyone's trying to jump on this bandwagon," Binder says. "Virtualization has already been pushed by storage vendors like Hitachi and the like, but my personal opinion is that the market doesn't see any value in this."

For his customers, at least for now, virtualization doesn't make sense, Binder says. He names two major drawbacks right off the bat: virtualizing data stores can put more of customers' mission-critical and archived data online and makes it more vulnerable, and adding a virtualization layer onto existing storage infrastructure also increases latency in a time when speed and performance are king.

While he concedes that out-of-band virtualization might have value if customers were migrating storage across different devices, he says his customers haven't been showing interest in using virtualization to do this. One of the major reasons is that with storage prices dropping and capacity increasing, there's not much of a financial incentive.

"Now Serial ATA is priced so it's comparable to Fibre Channel storage, so there's no reason to invest in a virtualization solution that won't become popular," Binder says. 

For some storage vendors that are proponents of storage virtualization, Binder notes that virtualization is way for them to drive customers to use their products to link numerous data stores together, and eventually migrate to a single-vendor's storage solution.

"On one hand, there's this vendor-driven thing to lock out their accounts for new vendors, and to keep all their legacy systems in play. For other vendors whose market penetration isn't as high, virtualization is a curse because it means customers avoid replacing legacy systems with newer hardware," Binder says.

All pros and cons aside, it really depends on your customers' needs, says DeCaires. While there's still tremendous pressure on VARs to help their customers do more with less, beware of falling into "over-prescribing," he advises.

"With all the hype, VARs and customers can easily get themselves into trouble by spending money that's going to cause them more problems than it will fix," DeCaires says.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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