John Wakerly of Cisco was most kind in his comments – nice to get someone of his stature to read my paper (“All You Need is TCP: EtherSAN and Storage Networks“). His issue is latency. Time is money, right?
Both John Wakerly and Greg Pfister (who’s also come alive on this topic earlier this week) have the same issue, but are approaching it from different angles – with Greg, it’s geography, and with John I think it comes down to time. But I think it’s really the same answer, just like position is momentum, and energy is time.
John is right in saying that iscsi works. I don’t dispute that. It’s a good enough solution within the enterprise. And it was a very fast way to produce a product through reductionism. I approve of fast product cycles, since most of the time you’re just building the same thing with a small variation on the theme, so reductionism is the way I’d do it for a normal product cycle.
But the reason I did the paper was precisely because it’s about something that hasn’t happened yet – global network storage, so I’m not tied to reductionism. I’ve noticed when the slipshod send-it-again overallocate-the-bandwidth habits of the Internet meet the obsessive-compulsive control-freak tell-me-what-went-pop-and-fix-it-now enterprise, things just don’t seem to mesh right. So elements get thrown out and thrown in, depending on corner cases and product need. But that’s not really the way to get a spanning set across products – it only takes care of the current product crisis.