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Vol. 1 No. 11 January 2003

Killer serial: is ATA ready for the enterprise?

Here's what storage vendors want you to believe about serial ATA (SATA) technology: It's a faster, more reliable version of the standard parallel ATA interface. It will eventually replace the older technology, and it's breathlessly awaited by the storage community. That's about two-thirds right. "Serial ATA will be the standard interface in two years or less," says John Monroe, a vice president at Gartner Inc., Stamford, CT. "We'll see the death of parallel ATA." But "breathlessly awaited by storage managers?" When was the last time you ever heard of someone becoming breathless over a computer part? (Perhaps one that didn't work.) "We're sold on SCSI, and we're not really looking to swap what's reliable for what's slower and unproven. Call me crazy, but if it ain't broke ..." says Rick Bauer, chief information officer at The Hill School, a private preparatory school in Pottstown, PA. Monroe says that this attitude isn't unusual in an enterprise storage setting. Enterprise storage markets are the ideal definition of conservatism,...

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