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Expert predictions 2005: ISCSI, programmable storage at last

Our experts predict big developments in 2005, including storage interface enhancements, protocol-independent servers and the large-scale adoption of IP SANs.

Remember's 2004 storage predictions? If so, this year's may look pretty familiar.

ISCSI will hit the big time in 2005, according to Storage Management expert Brett Cooper. Brett had originally decreed 2004 to be "the year of IP SANs", and he wasn't altogether wrong. However, most of the adoption of IP SANs so far has been in small and medium-sized businesses, due to a lack of enterprise-quality products. This year, expect IP SANs to move beyond SMBs and Microsoft Windows Server environments, and into the enterprise and open systems applications platforms including IBM AIX, HP-UX, Solaris and Linux.

Virtualization is another area that will continue to benefit from the increased availability of products. However, our experts disagree on where virtualization will take place. SAN expert Christopher Poelker says it will happen at the packet/block level, while Brett Cooper bets server level. Either way, expect virtualization to continue to move beyond vaporware.

This year's big buzzword was the other favorite topic of debate among our experts. Everyone wants to know: Will information lifecycle management (ILM) arrive this year? (Actually, many people still want to know what the heck ILM is, but that's another story.) Backup expert Pierre Dorion says that a lack of useful tools will prevent users from getting much benefit from ILM. Networking expert Greg Schulz predicts some adoption of ILM, but more hype than reality. Cooper holds out hope for ILM, but cautions that it's a strategy, not a product.

Other things to keep an eye out for in 2005 include storage interface enhancements, programmable storage, protocol-independent servers, and a continued interest in disk-based backup.

Brett Cooper: Storage management predictions for 2005 -- ISCSI arrives at the center of the enterprise

Christopher Poelker: SAN predictions for 2005 -- The year of programmable storage

Greg Schulz: Storage networking predictions for 2005 -- Storage interface enhancements are on the way

Pierre Dorion: Backup predictions for 2005 -- Disk-based backup gains steam, but tape is far from dead

Dig Deeper on Disk-based backup

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