Some customers are pushing independent software vendors to come out with their own appliances. Be careful what you ask for, because you may create something that you weren’t looking for. What happens if your favorite backup software product suddenly starts putting out its own appliance? At a minimum, other appliances from other vendors may cease to exist. Why should a big-box vendor partner with your backup software product only to compete with them? What happens when someone at the helm starts realizing that by creating a tighter integration between the software and the hardware, the company increases its bottom line enough to make that worthwhile? You may find yourself forced to buy a different hardware product than you want in order to keep the software that you like.