Maybe a company like Isilon Systems, which has had it shares of ups and downs in the last 12 months, is a better barometer. The clustered storage space in which it plays is a good overall measure of storage spending and customer confidence. And though Isilon has largely weathered some tough times, it's unclear how it and other midsized storage vendors will come through this current economic period.
This article does a good job capturing the pervading sense of uncertainty, as we all wait to see how bad the mortgage crisis really is, or if another Bear Stearns is lurking in Wall Street's midst. Does it really matter if storage vendors begin deriving more revenue from software and services than hardware -- isn't that what big guys like EMC, NetApp, and IBM have been building toward?
Take this to the bank: There's more churn ahead -- not just in my gut after opening my 401(k) statements, but in a market where costs are rising, demand is slowing, and fear is rampant.
Those aren't such welcome bellwethers either.