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Vol. 2 No. 4 June 2003

The case for network smarts

In the past couple of years, widespread successful storage area network (SAN) deployments have proven the value of networked storage. But they've also made it clear that a heavy management burden and substantial cost won't be cured just by putting lots of disk behind a fabric. Now the same vendors that sold you a SAN to solve your management and cost issues are peddling a new technology to solve the management and cost issues that have resulted from trying to solve your management and cost issues. So, what's the latest cure-all? Network-based storage intelligence, and everybody's doing it. Is it smart to cache in the network? Both DataCore, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Melville, NY-based FalconStor employ network caching as a ways of improving performance, albeit differently. For FalconStor, caching comes by way of a solid state disk used to store frequently accessed files. DataCore, meanwhile, uses the system's internal RAM cache to speed up the I/O performance of the back-end array. "It's not just that we're minimizing latency," ...

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Features in this issue

  • Inverse multiplexing

    Inverse multiplexing

  • Copy basics

    by  David Braue

    Snapshot and replication are important tools in building a foolproof disaster recovery plan. This article helps you pick the optimal solution that fits within your budget and is best suited for your company's individual backup needs.

  • The case for network smarts

    Let's face it: SANs as they currently exist only deliver about half of what you might hope for in the way of efficiency and optimal utilization. The best bet to deliver the other 50% is network-based storage intelligence. You'll have to get past the magic-wand claims for this latest pancea from storage vendors, though. And not every incarnation of smart switches or appliances is going to be right for you.

Columns in this issue