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Vol. 2 No. 10 December 2003

Sunny Day for Storage Consolidation

When it comes to storage technology, Ken Walters doesn't think of himself as avant-garde. "I tend toward the conservative," he says. As the senior director for enterprise platforms at the Public Broadcasting Service in Alexandria, VA, the umbrella organization for 300-plus local PBS broadcasters, "my job is to wear a belt and suspenders," says Walters. But for a conservative guy, Walters did something pretty cutting edge. In November 2002, Walters implemented an iSCSI network to complement his three-year-old Fibre Channel (FC) storage area network (SAN). The product, the Storage Concentrator from StoneFly, provides an IP bridge into Walter's existing IBM Shark and FastT arrays. The decision to try out iSCSI came about because according to Walters: "I wasn't making much progress toward consolidation." It's a familiar story: It's hard to justify the cost of FC host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch ports for a $2,000 or $3,000 Linux server. Walters considered Cisco's SN5420 iSCSI-to-FC router, but ultimately chose StoneFly's product ...

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