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Vol. 4 No. 6 August 2005

Future is fuzzy for Fibre drives

The Fibre Channel (FC)-connected disk drives that populate midrange arrays may soon give way to a new generation of Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, says Tom Georgens, president and CEO at Engenio, whose midrange arrays are resold by vendors like IBM, SGI and StorageTek. Pending review of SAS drives' reliability, Engenio may ship a midrange SAS-based product as early as 2007. "It's my clear preference to do it sooner rather than later," says Georgens. At issue is customer demand for high-capacity SATA drives used to create a second tier of low-cost capacity in existing midrange arrays. SATA drives can natively plug into a SAS backplane, but if you want to put a SATA drive in an FC-based enclosure, you need to use FC-to-SATA protocol conversion hardware. That adds approximately $400 to $500 to a disk shelf, says Bob Brencic, senior director of switch marketing at FC component maker Emulex. Furthermore, SAS drives, which will likely replace parallel SCSI disk drives in servers, will ship in greater numbers than FC drives. Unless...

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Features in this issue

  • Bridging the gap

    Many disaster recovery and remote backup programs rely on an efficient, cost-effective WAN. Fiber-optic network technology is often required for long-distance data transmission, but you need to know what transport is best and the related implementation issues.

  • Monolithic going modular

    Monolithic systems go modular

  • DR testing infrequent at best

    Have you tested your DR plan?

  • Storage for manufacturing

    Manufacturing environments typically have different storage requirements than corporate apps, and have to deal with globally dispersed design teams as well as growing regulatory concerns. Here's how several prominent manufacturers have met the challenge.

  • New tools to classify data

    by  Brad O'Neill

    Putting data on storage systems appropriate to its value requires the ability to classify data. An emerging category of applications, Information Classification and Management apps, can index enterprise information and execute precise actions based on its content.

Columns in this issue