seems to be quite a bit of innovation
going on these days, I suppose the most obvious one is SSDs, but a good storage system is a hell of a lot more than just slapping a bunch of SSDs in it and allocating LUNs or exporting file systems. Finding good ways to best utilize the underlying technology's performance while maintaining high levels of reliability/availability and if your lucky scalability too.
I don't think there is much over hype in the storage industry at all. Now by contrast the networking industry and their software defined bullshit THAT is hype(hype to roughly 99.999% of organizations anyway). Networking has traditionally been a very boring thing, and they are desperately trying to get attention with software defined.
Some folks are trying to capitalize on that and offer "software defined storage" which I view as hype as well. There are some interesting approaches but too many platforms are claiming software defined when it doesn't make any sense.
That said I still find myself a loyal 3PAR customer/advocate 8 years after getting my first system. They continue to give me reasons to stick to them. I told their leadership at Discover that if you asked me two (and for sure three) years ago did I think the 3PAR architecture would make it in the SSD world I would of been very skeptical. What they've managed to pull off without having to do any ground up rewrites or acquisitions in the past 18 months has just blown me away(and there's more to come as always).
I do see interesting things that some storage startups are doing - if I worked for a much bigger org that had more silos of storage laying around I'd be interested in test driving them. As-is, for the most part anything we get has to be capable of being a backbone driving tens to hundreds of millions of revenue each year(over $200M/year is driven by roughly two racks of equipment today). Which for me means I don't want to take the risk and use the startups for that kind of thing - I've learned a lot about storage over the past 10 years or so and perhaps the most important lesson is I've learned to be conservative in the risks taken(and yes I have had my fair share of issues on 3PAR over the years, by no means is it a flawless platform - which just re-iterates my feelings against relying on the startups for such a system).
(not a storage guy specifically I do networking servers, ops stuff etc as well)