Beta vs. VHS all over again?

Beta vs. VHS all over again?

Dave Simpson


The nice thing about revolu . . .uh . . .new storage technologies is that they enable end-users to solve problems while busting open new markets for vendors and their channel partners. If you`ve been integrating optical solutions, and are starting to feel the limitations of the laser, start thinking DVD. With its capacious capacity and decent performance, DVD-ROM is poised to replace CD-ROM.

But rewritable DVD is another matter. Just when we thought DVD was going to sail unscathed into a state of standards satori, along comes Sony.

The consumer giant, with the backing of Hewlett-Packard, Philips, and others, is developing the DVD+RW format, which will compete with the DVD-RAM format supported by Hitachi, Matsushita, Toshiba, and the formidable DVD Forum.

Will DVD-RAM vs. DVD+RW be a replay of the Beta vs. VHS wars? Maybe not, because the burgeoning market for rewritable DVD products could accommodate two successful "standards," although that`s not likely. But unlike Beta and VHS, DVD-RAM and DVD+RW are not necessarily mutually exclusive. And anyway, what would the storage industry be without our equivalents to the Navigator vs. Explorer wars?

How do you think the DVD rewritable war will turn out? Do we need a single standard, and if so, which one? Or is there room for two? Send your opinions to daves@ pennwell.com.

Fibre, fibre, fibre

Our Cover Report`s about DVD, but as usual you`ll find plenty of fibre in this issue. That`s not because we`re Fibre Channel zealots (we`re not, really, we`re not), but this emerging interface is more than just a mo` faster, mo` better successor to SCSI. Fibre Channel promises to change the paradi... er... general approach to storage interfaces. In fact, it`s an unprecedented merger of the storage and networking camps.

That`s why we tapped Vance McCarthy, a network-centric journalist for more than 12 years, to write the story. Networking people and storage people are coming together in the emerging network storage market, but still, they`re coming from different sides of the playing field. InfoStor will be on top of the network-storage convergence, including storage-area networks (Special Report coming in February) and network-attached storage (our April issue focus).

And if you`re really into the convergence, get involved with the Storage Networking Industry Association. See the news blurb in the next section of this magazine, or go directly to www.sresearch.com/snia.

This article was originally published on December 01, 1997