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Storage Pipeline: First Person: Global File System or Global Name Space?

With file copy sharing falling by the wayside, IBM has pushed out its first-generation Storage Tank, complete with a universal file-sharing system. This system requires agents on every server, where they intercept normal server file-sharing functions to place all files into IBM's proprietary SAN file system--preferably on IBM-branded storage platforms aggregated into storage pools behind an IBM Storage Virtualization Controller.

Not to be outdone, virtually every NAS vendor is pursuing a strategy of NAS head clustering, combined with some sort of proprietary "clustered" or "extensible" file system. Of course, this solution will work only if you buy the vendor's NAS heads.

Meanwhile, there are rumblings in Redmond that we should abandon file systems altogether and use a database instead--preferably, Microsoft SQL Server.

Frenetic Engineering?

Basically, we're being told that it's time to get all our files singing on the same set of semantics, and it will take a disruptive rip-and-replace overhaul to our server file systems, with standardization around a single vendor's technology, to make this happen.

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