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Access "Future is fuzzy for Fibre drives"

Published: 19 Oct 2012

The Fibre Channel (FC)-connected disk drives that populate midrange arrays may soon give way to a new generation of Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, says Tom Georgens, president and CEO at Engenio, whose midrange arrays are resold by vendors like IBM, SGI and StorageTek. Pending review of SAS drives' reliability, Engenio may ship a midrange SAS-based product as early as 2007. "It's my clear preference to do it sooner rather than later," says Georgens. At issue is customer demand for high-capacity SATA drives used to create a second tier of low-cost capacity in existing midrange arrays. SATA drives can natively plug into a SAS backplane, but if you want to put a SATA drive in an FC-based enclosure, you need to use FC-to-SATA protocol conversion hardware. That adds approximately $400 to $500 to a disk shelf, says Bob Brencic, senior director of switch marketing at FC component maker Emulex. Furthermore, SAS drives, which will likely replace parallel SCSI disk drives in servers, will ship in greater numbers than FC drives. Unless FC disk-drive vendors ... Access >>>

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