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SAN Ceasefire!

It's time to get real about iSCSI and Fibre Channel.

IP SANs have made enough progress in the past year that we can expect them to stick around, and Fibre Channel certainly isn't going away. [Ed. note: We have at least nine more years -- see Fibre Channel Doomed, Says Metcalfe.] So instead of treating them as natural enemies, the focus should be on how they fit together.

Recent market figures show both on the rise. According to IDC, iSCSI SAN revenue in the first quarter of 2005 grew nearly 22 percent from the previous year -- outpacing the overall SAN market growth of 16.7 percent (see IDC: Storage Spending Up). Yet iSCSI made up a mere 2.2 percent of total networked storage -- hardly enough to push Fibre Channel to the fringe. And iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and NAS all showed healthy gains.

Clearly, iSCSI and FC do not present an either/or proposition for customers in the real world, as we note in this month's Byte and Switch Insider, "iSCSI: A Place in the SAN." On the contrary, they're often complementary, and are often being used in the same organizations, even in the same systems.

For instance, Kevin Schooner, director of engineering for enterprise storage solutions distributor Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW), says iSCSI can solve interoperability issues when companies merge or acquire others.

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