But the time we’ve made it, we’ve had it…. Malcolm Forbes
Success – Now watch as your market share declines!
In the late 1990’s NetApp’s NAS technology was an education sale. Zerowait’s employees worked very hard to teach our customers the value of NAS technology. It was a new view on storage and there was demonstrable value to NetApp’s solution. As the enterprise market accepted the solution NetApp’s stock price soared. But now the technology has commoditized, and many people expect that NetApp’s proprietary and expensive solutions will start to see a tremendous amount of competition for their market share. Just as Sun has taken a beating from Open Source, now the NAS companies are about to see the coming of open source into the enterprise. In the space of the next 24 to 36 months we can expect to see projects like www.freenas.org start creeping into the enterprise space. As soon as they get their snapshot like technology figured out, the value of proprietary NAS goes out the door, except for the service and support value. The premium price paid to the Proprietary NAS Vendors, will be eroded quickly by these projects.
It seems that Robin Harris, Jon Toigo, and I are not the only ones keeping an eye on these developments in open source NAS projects. If you are interested in real developments in NAS storage you should read this article from the storage forum.
How are NetApp and EMC going to compete against a price point of free in three years? Brand value and marketing can only can take you so far, just ask the Oldsmobile dealers.