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Are Server SANs The Future Or Just Hype?

An emerging software-defined storage technology is getting a lot of attention, but using direct-attached storage as a common storage pool isn't without complications.

There's been a lot of buzz in the storage and virtualization communities about using the storage in, or directly attached to, virtualization hosts as a replacement for the shared storage systems that have been the enterprise standard for almost two decades. As VMware’s VSAN prepares to emerge from its public beta next month, the hype is only building. Will server SANs take over the datacenter or are we rapidly climbing the Gartner Hype Cycle’s Peak of Inflated Expectations?

To be clear, the products we’re talking about create a common pool of storage from the flash memory and spinning disks on the virtualization hosts themselves. Stu Miniman at Wikibon dubbed this technology Server SAN, and I previously called it Storage Software Definus Virtucalis Scaleoutus.

In many ways server SANs, including the Maxta Storage Platform, Sanbolic’s Melio platform, Atlantis ILIO USX and EMC’s ScaleIO, in addition to the aforementioned VSAN, are software implementations of the hyper-converged systems like those from Nutanix, Scale Computing and Simplivity.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage ... View Full Bio
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Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2014 | 12:35:29 AM
I think it's up to enterprise IT department - depending on the actual requirements, we need to do triage for VSAN and traditional SAN technology. None of them is perfect and has pros/cons. It depends on the actual scenario. A careful decision must be made by IT department about which one to adopt. Furthermore, the cost of transition/migration needs to be taken into account.
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