Feature

DAS revs up for a resurgence

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Dennis Ruane, senior database software engineer at Waters Corp. in Milford, MA, uses DAS in his test environments and for customers' biotech labs. These departments use DAS because it's cheaper and easier, and they like to control their own data. "Some companies we sell to don't always have SAN administrators," he says. "For installations limited to a certain size or number of lab instruments, you use DAS because it's easier to implement." And for testing, says Ruane, DAS isn't going away. "Because machines are spread out all over the place, I can't always get them in the SAN," he says.

DAS likely won't be retaking the data center anytime soon, though. Ultimately, DAS has the same limitations it's always had. "It works great if you only have a couple of servers, but once you start getting more than four servers, you can't even use it," says Dell's Asthana.

Kirk Martin, systems manager for Johnson County, KS, uses DAS with Symantec's Veritas NetBackup. "We were trying to venture into disk-to-disk backups and they were priced right and our backups are working well," says Martin. "We'll probably continue to maintain those for as long as we can get parts and service contracts on them."

Johnson County Unix administrator Mark Dietz says one concern they have is that their Sun StorEdge 3511 isn't being sold anymore, so support can be limited.

"So as you look at growing backup

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storage, it's a prospective problem," he says. "But I don't care what technology you buy today, it's going to be replaced in a couple of years and you're going to be in the same boat again."

--Christine Cignoli

This was first published in September 2008

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