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Fibre Channel (FC) vs. SAS
Hawaiian Electric isn't ready to abandon FC. The organization's Watanabe is comfortable with the performance and reliability of FC for now, but "something like 6Gb/sec SAS might get us to rethink FC," he says. It won't be the only company rethinking the situation. Market research firms Gartner Inc. and IDC see a strong shift from FC to SAS. IDC, for example, predicts that shipments of small form-factor enterprise drives going into enterprise solutions will outnumber 3.5-inch enterprise drive shipments by 2010.
"Encryption built into the drive will be a huge thing," predicts Joel Weiss, president at the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA), a Milpitas, CA-based trade
| association for HDD makers. Ironically, drive-based encryption may be most appealing when the drive reaches end-of-life and gets retired. Vendors report amazement at the amount of data left intact on returned disks. With on-drive encryption that concern goes away; as soon as the drive is separated from the key, the data becomes unreadable. Seagate already offers an enterprise drive with encryption, and it's emerging as a must-have for laptop disk drives (see "Notebook storage," below).
This was first published in September 2008