Virtualization and Clouds are all about software. With the high-growth rates in storage, virtualization and Cloud computing, it is becoming increasingly clear that a hardware-bound scale-up model of storage is impractical. The "hardware mindset" restrains efficiency and productivity, while software that enables hardware interchangeability advances these critical characteristics. The hardware model goes against the IT trends of commoditization, openness and resource pooling, which have driven the IT industry over the last decade. Software is the key to automating and to increasing management productivity, while adding the flexibility and intelligence to harness, pool and leverage the full use of hardware investments.
As the world moves to Cloud-based, to virtualization-based and to "Big Data" environments, software models that allow for hardware interchangeability, open market purchasing and better resource management for storage will be the big winners.