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Published: 22 Oct 2012

The letters H-B-A represent the term host bus adapter, but they could just as well stand for "Hardly Been Acknowledged" or "Has Been Anonymous." But things are changing with the latest generation of HBAs. An HBA--the interface card that connects a host computer to a Fibre Channel SAN--is pretty much invisible. In your storage infrastructure, you'll see arrays, switches, cables and subsystems, but nary an HBA, which is embedded in the server and may even come factory installed. Adding to their Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no respect" image, HBAs have the reputation of being "unsophisticated widgets," admits Herman Chao, director of product management with Brocade's server division. "You turn it on, configure it once and you're done," he says. "For an administrator installing a SAN, the big ticket item is the storage they buy from an EMC," adds Amit Vashi, QLogic's VP of marketing. "Then they buy the servers, then the switches. The last thing they think about is the HBA." But the underappreciated HBA may finally be getting its due. Roughly every three years... Access >>>

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