No SAS for Networked Storage

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As serial-attached SCSI (SAS) technology inches its way toward general availability later this year, it's becoming clear that SAS is a server drive technology, and not--repeat not--a replacement for the Fibre Channel (FC) drives currently used in networked disk storage subsystems.

In other words, the same market segmentation that exists between parallel SCSI and FC drives will persist, if the industry has its way.

Storage subsystems based on "an existing class of technology--those connections will remain Fibre Channel for quite a while," says Harry Mason, president of the SCSI Trade Association.

For large array manufacturers, FC has the advantage of being a fabric, and can supply greater network addressability, says Gary Gentry, Seagate vice president, strategic marketing and planning.

But in other respects, forthcoming SAS drives are nearly identical to FC drives, and are based on the same high availability platform, Gentry says.

Recent SAS milestones include the approval of the SAS 1.0 specification by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the announcement of Seagate's 2.5-inch SAS drive, the Savvio.

This was first published in March 2004

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