4. Headin' On Down(stream)
It wasn't just the small vendors seeing gold in the midmarket. Several of the storage industry's largest vendors used 2012 to expand their reach into the "S" part of the SMB market, including:
* IBM, which in November introduced the Storwize V3700 (pictured), which includes the same code stack as the company's higher-end Storwize V7000 and its SAN Volume Controller (SVC) storage virtualization technology, as well as such features as replication, thin provisioning, a self-optimized flash tier and cloud access, all in an array that lists starting at under $11,000.
* NetApp in June expanded its reach into the SMB market with the release of a new sub-$8,000 storage unified storage array with optional SSD pooling and other features and services consistent with the vendor's full product line.
* HP in December moved to bring its high-end 3PAR family down-market to compete against the EMC VNX family by introducing the HP 3PAR StoreServe 7400 with a starting price of about $25,000.