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In the beginning, there was SAN and NAS...

In the beginning, there was SAN and NAS...
By Alan Earls

The more things change, the more they stay the same. For a long time, the Storage Networking Industry Association ( has been focused on making the world a better place through Fibre Channel. So, presumably have its members. Now, that same SNIA (with the apparent blessing of its members) has announced the formation of its first marketing-focused industry forum called the SNIA IP Storage Forum. According to SNIA, the IP Storage Forum is supposed to "market and promote standards-based block storage networking solutions using IP networks."

What happened to bring IP into such prominence? According to Analyst Arun Taneja of Enterprise Storage Group, Inc., Milford, Mass., the Fibre Channel industry didn't develop as fast as it could have due to "vendor infighting," resulting in a slowness of standards creation and endorsement. "Hopefully, there was a lesson here," says Taneja, "SNIA recognized this and expanded their focus and is taking all technologies at the intersection of storage and networking under its wing."

At its inception, the SNIA IP Storage Forum will consist of 40 SNIA member companies. The Forum?s governing body includes Doug Ingraham of Cisco Systems, Inc. and Paul Mattson of IBM who will serve as co-chairmen; Brice Clark of Hewlett- Packard who is marketing chair; Bill Lynn of Adaptec, secretary; and Jon Conover of Platys Communications, the budget chair.

On balance, says Taneja, "this is very good for the industry and ultimately for the end user."

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

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