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Future SANs Stir Debate

CHICAGO -- Users and vendors at the TIA-sponsored DataComm Enterprise Conference here this week pondered the role of emerging technologies in future SAN architectures.

Panel members discussed the merits of 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and iSCSI, and storage dark horse InfiniBand. Most agreed there is no one right technology for everyone -- or for any single application.

Instead, it looks as though Fibre Channel will continue to be the SAN of choice, as long as its speed and performance keep growing. At the same time, though, 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and even InfiniBand will find a place.

Harold Shapiro, director of technology at Warner Bros. Entertainment, says the type of technology used in storage networks is less important than how it is used.

"Just buying this technology isn't going to fix anything," Shapiro says. "You can take very good technology, deploy it the wrong way, and it becomes bad technology."

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