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Vol. 2 No. 5 July 2003

Intelligence belongs in the network and on the switch

The low-risk route is through appliances--if they don't work, you can yank 'em. Easy, right? Cisco will put intelligence in its switch. Or I'll just run my Veritas software on my new Brocade switch, right? Well, maybe someday, but I highly doubt a lot of you are going to run to this new paradigm soon. First, let me define what I'm talking about. Today we run virtualization in the form of volume management in the host, (usually Veritas') and LUN masking/mapping in the arrays. We use volume management to carve up physical devices into logical ones. We mirror with it and often replicate with an array-based technology. These are essential functions and perfect examples of "services" that should run in the network--not on the end points. Why? Common repetitive software functions running in the network vs. the host mean far less software. If you're a big shop today, you run different versions of Veritas Volume Manager on your Solaris or Windows boxes, HP/IBM/SGI etc. If those core functions ran in the fabric, you'd support only a ...

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Features in this issue

  • Close the IM Loophole

    NYSE sends message about instant messages

  • Roll Your Own NAS

    Is building your own NAS better?

  • Taming HBAs

    by  Jerome Wendt

    Installing, configuring and maintaining Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) is the bane of many SAN administrators. Thankfully, these new cards offer better management tools.

  • Creating a large e-mail system

    by  Jim Booth

    Here's how one storage team transformed a monolithic storage design into a flexible, scalable system.

  • IP SANs take their place

    There's a growing interest in using IP for storage in small to midsized enterprises, although Fibre Channel is still dominant in large organizations. What's right for you: IP, FC or a combination of both?

Columns in this issue