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September 2015, Volume 14, No. 7

Fibre Channel technology is alive and kicking

Historically, Fibre Channel technology has been a top choice for enterprises in need of a high-speed interconnect for SANs. With the introduction of iSCSI storage, however, the landscape shifted. Ethernet networking gained acceptance for block storage and became popular for file, and later cloud-based, object storage. It costs less, requires no dedicated switching and special training, and offers adequate performance for most business applications. But don't sound the death knell for Fibre Channel technology; market research indicates widespread use and a slow decline.

Most storage vendors today offer object-based storage, and interest in these systems is high. Object storage offers massive scalability, potentially better data management with extended metadata, cloud storage integration via support for RESTful APIs and lower overall storage costs. The trick, of course, is integrating object and all of its capabilities into environments still dominated by SAN, NAS, and applications that continue to expect file or block storage interfaces. But, it's being done.

Big data, Hadoop, MapReduce, data warehousing, business intelligence… All of these analytics applications place new demands on storage systems and often require new or modified storage structures. The special requirements of these analytics-on-a-massive-scale apps, and how to effectively manage their supporting storage infrastructures, are detailed in this issue of Storage magazine.

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