Anurag Jain's Blog
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Shaping the Future of Storage

Attended this seminar organized by Netapp yesterday at The Leela. The speakers were Dave Hitz (Cofounder & EVP, Engineering), Manish Goel (President, Indian Operations), and Mr Dwarkanathan (Product Engineering Services CTO, Wipro). Netapp has started an Indian operations center where they have shifted FULLY the development of one of the four key products, Netcache. Its a caching / streaming exnterprise application tool. Other products are NetStore, Filers, and Gateway(?).

Dave Hitz is a pioneer in storge industry and has been personally involved in some of the key innovations in storage technology. Dave said that SAN and NAS have been a soure of great deal of confusion amongst technology people in companies, and he suggested (and also predicted) that these two need to merge into FAS (Fiber Attached Storage). And he explained, why and how. The analogy was with routers, switches: First it was Router VS Switches, then it was Router AND Switches, and now they are moving toward layer 7 'switches' (unified). Essentially, a Router takes care of packets at layer 4, 5, and 6, while a switch at layers 1, 2, and 3. Hence the new approach is to combine the two and remove confusion. Same thing would happen with SAN and NAS converging into FAS, Dave said.

One interesting statistic was the decline in the DAS (Direct Attached Storage) market size: from 14b$ in 2000 to 6b$ in 2002 (according to IDC)! Thats a sureshot indication of storage preferences shifting from disk to the network. Gotta keep an eye on this industry, sounds very exciting!

Manish mainly dwelled upon why Indian IT scene today is so exciting. Taking his personal example, he demonstrated how there were not many opportnities for an engineer wanting to work in s/w indusrty when he graduated from IIT 20 years back, and how the scenario has changed completely today.

Takeaway: An overview of storage industry and what Netapp is doing, esp. in India.

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