Fibre Channel still top dog among disks


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What kind of data drives are you using? Are they 6 Gig SAS? Solid state? Or good old Fibre Channel (FC)? More than half of the companies in our survey favor FC for their top tier.

With 6 Gb SAS disks and emerging solid-state products stirring up the data storage pot, and concerns about ever-escalating capacities, more attention is turning toward drive technologies. In our survey of more than 200 storage users, 69% had Fibre Channel (FC) arrays installed, helping FC remain the most widely installed storage array type. But at 62%, NAS is closing in on FC, and DAS -- often overlooked or discounted -- was the third most popular alternative. iSCSI SANs and multiprotocol arrays are each used by approximately one-third of respondents. FC disks account for 54% of all installed disks, followed by SATA and SAS. But that mix will likely change as respondents shop for the average 55 TB of disk capacity they expect to add this year. Storage managers' shopping carts will be filled with nearly equal parts of SATA (52%), FC (50%) and SAS (47%) disks. In addition, storage buyers expect SATA/SAS and PCIe solid-state storage to make up 13% and 11%, respectively, of their storage purchases.

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"I'm waiting for the concept of 'hybrid' drives with a small amount of their own SSD -- popular in the desktop world now -- to make it into enterprise storage."
-- Survey respondent

BIO: Rich Castagna (rcastagna@storagemagazine.com) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was first published in April 2011

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