And it looks like what we were calling grid computing a few years ago is getting reborn as "clouds." IBM got the ball rolling last November with its Blue Cloud. Now, EMC and SAP are doing more than blowing smoke by cobbling together storage, enterprise resource planning, and supply chain management software and making it accessible via the Internet, according to this report. EMC's billing and metering platform, Fortress, is expected to figure highly in the arrangement. And its recent acquisition of Mozy makes even more sense when viewed through the services filter.
Does this represent a hard right turn for disk array and tape library makers? Not hardly. It's a smart transition for the major storage vendors in particular, as SAS and SATA gear accelerate the commoditization of storage hardware. And if you believe the conventional wisdom -- that enterprises do more outsourcing in periods of economic uncertainty -- then we'll be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing in the next 10 months and beyond as storage vendors find their way in the services realm.