Virtualisation is the future of IT storage, according to Pat Martin, chief executive of StorageTek.
Speaking at the Eurostorage 2001 conference in Prague last week, Martin said that the company "has always been and will always be virtual". Tape, disk and networked storage, he argued, will be virtualised into a heterogeneous environment.
Storage virtualisation products manage data virtually. Using the technology, users can view storage availability through a single interface rather than having to physically access individual units.
Paul Salliss, StorageTek's UK channel director, said the channel will be involved in selling the company's virtualisation offering. "We will hand-pick the resellers for our virtualisation products, because certain products are too complex. We feel it would be inappropriate to open up a channel free-for-all on these," he explained.
He added that products like the SN6000, the company's flagship virtualisation offering which was released in November last year, would require resellers to be able to "mirror StorageTek's [sales] capability". He said it would be unfair to expect that level of expertise without the necessary training and education.
Ian Lockhart, enterprise solutions manager at Ideal Hardware, thinks that, although virtualisation has been an ongoing technology, it has become more complex because it now operates on open standards and is still in development.
"Resellers need to get their heads around this conceptual idea," he said. "Customers are not always out there asking, but the demand is there and resellers need to create the opportunity. After storage area networks comes virtualisation. It's the next step."
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