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In a White Paper released today, Aberdeen Group, an IT market analysis and positioning services firm, states that IP-based storage networking is disruptive technology that will reduce storage costs, "democratize storage" networking, and ultimately help to converge network attached storage (NAS) filer and SAN (storage area network) storage architectures.
"IP for storage area networks is inevitable -- users and suppliers alike should prepare to embrace it," says Dan Tanner, Aberdeen senior storage analyst. Today, the network part of the SAN requires specially trained management personnel and uses expensive hardware that may be incompatible among vendors. "Getting both message/file and storage I/O onto the same kind of network will simplify storage network management and lower storage TCO by letting a single group of people with the same set of tools administer all networks."
The White Paper, IP-Based Storage: The Buzz on the Wire, also compares the performance of IP over Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FC) in a SAN. "Although legacy FC does an admirable job and performs well, using IP over Gigabit Ethernet may not require trading off performance," notes Tanner. Tanner insists that IP-based storage will not wipe out FC companies, however. "Many FC companies already support IP storage for long-haul asynchronous SAN remote mirroring and/or `SAN island' interconnection. They will leverage their storage networking expertise in new market opportunities."