Honestly -- maybe never. There are some vendors that do this today, but it's not widely adopted. This is partly because it does require proprietary drivers. It's not transparent today, so we need to drive the standards that can take years to accomplish if the integration is to become ubiquitous.
But there is real value when these protocols work together. I'm not talking about having a storage controller that supports a
We can potentially refer to this integration of SAN and NAS as unified storage, though this often means a single controller that can host a variety of separate protocols -- combining NAS, SAN and DAS [direct attached storage] support using iSCSI and Fibre Channel through CIFS and NFS. The 'unification' that I'm talking about is even deeper, actually allowing NAS and SAN protocols to interoperate, allowing file-level intelligence across a block-based infrastructure.
Check out the entire NAS FAQ guide.
This was first published in July 2007