Is storage a fungible commodity?

Ed Grigson asks is storage is “fungible”, but most of his post focuses on what fungibility means in relation to IT:

In plain English fungibility means something is interchangeable — a common example is money. If someone owes you ten dollars you don’t care if they pay you one ten dollar bill, two fives, or ten ones — you get essentially the same thing. Another example is that you’re supposed to eat five portions of fruit and veg every day but you could eat five fruits, five veg, or a mixture — they’re fungible (interchangeable).

Now we know what is it but who cares if something is fungible?

  • for consumers fungibility is a good thing as it increases competition and flexibility — you can buy your commodity from anyone, often driving down prices
  • for providers fungibility could be good and bad. The increased competition might benefit your competitors but history has shown that once a market becomes a commodity it tends to grow, leading to more business for all involved.

So is storage fungible? It’s easy to see holes in the concept when it comes to the “inertia” of storage – after all, you can’t easily move data! So is storage fungible? Go over to Ed’s post and reply!  Is storage a fungible commodity?

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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