As a relatively new technology, storage virtualization products can vary in their maturity. For example, IBM's SVC product and DataCore Software Corp.'s SANsymphony product, along with FalconStor Software Inc. and StoreAge Networking Technologies products, have all been in the market for a long time, and they've added on a complete suite of storage applications on top of the virtualization layer. Even then, there are some applications, like thin provisioning, that are available though homogeneous storage players, like 3PARdata Inc., Compellent Technologies and Xiotech Corp., but may not yet be available from the storage virtualization vendors.
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I think that the baseline functionality is complete on most of the products that I mentioned. It's a good time to evaluate the products and the marketplace, especially now that the server virtualization side of things is becoming suite stable and prolific. The potential for using both server and storage virtualization together has very large benefits, and I expect that 2007 will be a big year for this technology.
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