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Vol. 7 No. 2 April 2008

Data center building blocks

Storage networking vendors have laid out their vision of the data center of the near future. It consists of Fibre Channel (FC) and Ethernet working in perfect harmony, aided by new developments such as Data Center Ethernet and FC over Ethernet (FCoE) feeding into massive backbone switches. It's still only a vision. Data Center Ethernet and FCoE remain on the drawing board, and recently launched converged network platforms from Brocade Communications Systems and Cisco Systems won't be complete without them. For now, all the talk of FCoE, Data Center (or Enhanced) Ethernet and converged networks could make a storage manager's head spin. Not to mention the debate around whether 8Gb FC is worth the price or if it's better to wait for 10Gb Ethernet. And if Ethernet is the way to go, should it be via iSCSI or FCoE? "It's probably overkill now," says Ed Delgado, storage administrator at financial services firm RiskMetrics Group, of the choices next-generation data centers will bring. Delgado is considering upgrading from Brocade fabric...

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Features in this issue

  • Is iSCSI good enough?

    by  Deni Connor

    Organizations of all sizes have adopted iSCSI because it's easy to install, inexpensive, behaves just like Ethernet and doesn't require specialized skill sets like Fibre Channel does. But do analyst claims that iSCSI performance falls short of that for Fiber Channel hold up?

  • Survey: Fibre Channel rules planned purchases

  • Automate application recovery

    by  Eric Burgener

    Today's application continuity computing (ACC) products are best suited for small- and medium-sized businesses, and are focused exclusively on Exchange, which most companies now consider a business-critical application. But the concentration on Exchange will likely change over the next few years, as several ACC vendors plan support for SQL Server and SharePoint in the future.

Columns in this issue

  • Best Practices: High hopes for thin provisioning

    Thin provisioning is a promising way to address allocation and performance. One of the biggest challenges when using the technology is knowing where your data lives, and whether it can be tracked or recovered if there's a catastrophic component failure.

  • Storage Bin 2.0: Winds of change push storage into a new era

    The transactional computing era is over. The Internet computing era is dragging data into the "cloud," and this new era will rain more files--and bigger files--down on you than you can ever imagine.