Data access from anywhere, storage location transparency, instant access to data, and storage independent platforms are the key components of Kumar's SCS vision. The idea behind SCS is to free data from a variety of hardware and software constraints, practically eliminating latency.
"Nearly 60% of our spending is focused around [SCS], because it is very, very powerful," Kumar told delegates at Storage Networking World 2001.
The primary force driving SCS is the fast-approaching wireless Internet, Kumar explained. "I believe that the wireless Internet is the next big wave of computing", he said.
But while the wireless Internet will address and use all four key SCS components, Kumar said fundamental barriers still stand in the way.
Constant demand for increased performance in less time, multiple operating systems and devices, and what Kumar called "silo solutions" represent the main hurdles for SCS.
Kumar defined silo solutions as proprietary technology and products that performed niche functions, and computing platforms that were fragmented or completely disconnected. Kumar said progress was being made in eliminating silo solutions, but room for improvement remained.
Kumar called on delegates to have determination and vision, to think of storage in terms of architecture, and to apply the appropriate storage management.
Vision and determination required simply hunkering down, Kumar said.
"There are many companies today that know that users will demand real-time access to information, and they just have to live with it," Kumar said. "It is just a reality, and in the storage business we have to figure out a way to make it work."
As for thinking of storage in terms of architecture, Kumar said the industry was already halfway there.
"So many of us have computing architectures, we focus on NT or Unix or mainframe architectures, but not in terms of storage architectures. I encourage each of you to focus on having an architecture for storage," he said.
In terms of storage management, Kumar said it begins with a different approach to applications.
"Most application people are designing applications without storage as a consideration, and most customers are buying applications without considering storage, and that's a recipe for failure. We're deploying applications without concern for where the storage lands," he said. "More customers need to be thinking of building applications with a storage layer in the middle."
Kumar urged the industry to stop thinking in terms of operating environments and operating systems, and to demand that developers and vendors deliver applications that manage storage resources intelligently while running on multiple platforms.
"[The time] is absolutely coming where application transparency will come and run on any given platform, and storage will be available anywhere," he said.
"The OS of the future will be secondary to applications and storage."