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Disk servers, are they a viable management solution?

I have multiple NAS boxes but it's still a mess to manage disks. I've been checking out iSCSI and came across a new category called disk servers from companies like DataCore. Does this type of technology work with NAS, do you see it as a replacement or just marketing?

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Disk servers are the names given to an environment where a standard server is running disk controller software for captive disk (typically direct attached) to serve up the storage as virtual LUNs. We call this "open platform storage systems."

The disk servers are really storage systems implemented with standard components and disk controller software. They provide the abstraction of the storage they control and typically provide many advanced functions. They can be used in conjunction with NAS gateways and some solutions provide the NAS function in the disk server. These are typically very cost competitive solutions with the performance dependent on the type of server used as a base.

Randy Kerns

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This was first published in March 2004

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