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Vol. 2 No. 10 December 2003

What a difference a year makes

Looking back over the last year, a lot has happened to change the way storage is done. In fact, 2003 will probably go down as a watershed year in several respects. The net effect was that storage networking definitively entered the era of commoditization. There's no turning back. A reasonable definition of storage networking from 2000 would have said that storage area networks (SANs) were composed of monolithic arrays of Fibre Channel (FC) or SCSI drives connected via FC to hosts--in other words, expensive, proprietary and tricky to manage. In 2003, every aspect of that definition was challenged. Icon of high-end storage EMC Corp. now offers its Clariion modular arrays with both SCSI and serial ATA (SATA) drives in the same enclosure. Arrays of all types now have IP ports for iSCSI. And lo and behold, a few products adhering to new management standards even hit the market, holding out hope that SAN manageability might actually surpass dismal in 2004. IP storage will also change the way disaster recovery is done, although that ...

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