By Linda Gail Christie
SAN adoption is being hindered by a clear gap in SAN software functionality, according to "Storage Networks: On the Road to Virtual Consolidation," a storage networking study based on a survey of 300 large organizations conducted by ITCentrix, a developer of IT decision support solutions. "The technology lacks appropriate volume and fabric management capabilities, is deficient in exploiting dynamic workload management, and lacks many interoperability features," said David Floyer, Vice President of Research for ITCentrix. "Those companies delivering software functionality that directly provides business value to customers will likely fare well."
To that end, many companies are releasing new hardware and software solutions that will allow SAN to be deployed over Internet Protocol (IP) networks and managed by storage management packages that are both mature and familiar. The cost benefits of SAN over IP are quite significant. "With SAN over IP, you don't have to change your model," said Brian Larsen, director of Product Management for CNT, a storage solutions provider. "You can leverage everything you have today: network infrastructure, bandwidth, methodologies, staff, and training -- without having to deploy and maintain a separate and expensive Fibre Channel network."
CNT, for example, states that its SAN over IP capability allows business-critical SAN applications -- such as asynchronous data replication and remote
As additional SAN over IP solutions are released next year, storage managers will have more and more cost-effective options for improving their storage infrastructure without sacrificing familiar IP storage management solutions, protocols, and interfaces.
- For more information on Nishan Systems, see the company's Web site at http://www.nishansystems.com
- For more information on CNT, see the company's Web site at http://www.cnt.com
- See InfoWorld's recent article, "SANs to embrace IP," at http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/00/06/12/000612hnipsans.xml
- See also The Standard's "Information Overload," at http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,18132,00.html
- There's also a white paper by Simon K. Fok, Ph.D. and Jon W. Toigo, entitled, "Addressing the Data Storage Dilemma with the Matrix Integrated Storage Gateway," at http://www.netconvergence.com
- If you don't mind registering, you can also see InfoStor's article, "IBM, Cisco propose SCSI over TCP/IP," at http://is.pennnet.com/home/archivearticles.cfm?Section=Archives&ARTICLE_ID=76163&VERSION_NUM=1&KEYWORD=barrera
- A list of recent Storage Management tips from SearchStorage can be found at: http://www.searchstorage.com/searchStorage_Tips_Category_Page/0,1797,282545,00.html
About the author: Linda Gail Christie is a frequent writer of searchStorage's storage management tips. Christie is a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.
This was first published in October 2000