High-End Drives: What Will You Use?

In 2002, SCSI drives made up about 89% of drive shipments to the enterprise market...

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In 2002, SCSI drives made up about 89% of drive shipments to the enterprise market, and Fibre Channel (FC) drives 11%, says TrendFocus, a storage market research firm.

But as companies deploy more FC SANs, will they also switch to FC drives? Probably not, says John Donovan, TrendFocus' vice president. Assuming a flat enterprise market, FC drives will command less than 20% of the market.

Starting in 2004, however, today's parallel SCSI drives will give way to serial-attached SCSI, or SA-SCSI, says Marty Czekalski, technical marketing manager at Maxtor and treasurer of the SCSI Trade Association.

What SA-SCSI buys you, Czekalski says, is dual porting and enhanced connectivity - features currently associated with FC disk drives. In the first generation of SA-SCSI, it will be possible to put up to 126 drives on a single loop - compared to today's 15 drives per channel limit.

SA-SCSI's success isn't a done deal, though. SA-SCSI "may have a good opportunity" to replace some FC disk drives," says Josef Rabinowitz, JMR Electronics' CEO, but "only if it comes out fast enough."

This was first published in January 2003

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