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Vol. 1 No. 9 November 2002

Network appliance raises the bar for NAS/SAN convergence

Data demands placed on businesses continue to grow and IT managers are responding by expanding storage, both in storage-attached networks (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) solutions. But this two tier approach, which balances performance, reliability and cost to suit specific missions, comes at a growing price. IT managers must manage two or more distinct and incompatible storage infrastructures, inviting spiraling costs and complexity. Over the past 18 months, software and hardware vendors have released solutions aimed at closing the gapbetween block-based SANs and file-based NAS solutions. While none has bridged the SAN/NAS divide, the FAS900 series of converged devices from Network Appliance comes close. The FAS960 and FAS940 products offer in one box the file-based I/O functionality of NAS devices and the block-based I/O capability of SAN solutions. More importantly, the FAS900 series offers a unified environment, providing a common management console and dynamic allocation for both block- and file-based storage. In ...

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