Here’s an interesting article on Barrons.com which talks about EMC’s future market share and the risk of share being lost from the increasing acceptance of customers to consider technology from “lower cost” competitors.
Enterprise arrays have been successful because they offer high reliability and availability. This was achieved through monolithic designs of high cost components and a focus on engineering quality. That was then – now we have much more reliable components – disk drives really don’t fail that often – SATA drives are much more reliable than they ever were. Reliability and availability can be implemented these days with much lower cost components – almost commodity in fact. Have a look at this great post from Pete Steege, which references the decline in cost of storage over time.
So once a vendor proves reliability in the real world, the commoditised hardware just needs good management software to reduce the overall cost of ownership.
Will that mean DMX-5 will be more like Clariion? I guess only time will tell. What’s for sure is that as disk prices decline and capacities go up, storage becomes more of a commodity and monolithic arrays will become as niche as the mainframe has for servers.