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Sun's Down on Storage Over IP

NEW YORK StorageNext 2001– Mark Canepa, executive VP of storage products at Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), shot down the IP storage market during his keynote speech here Thursday, dismissing it as a “dream.”

Canepa said TCP/IP is impractical for use in storage area networks, where the network itself is used to back up data. That's because the processing involved reading and forwarding packets appropriately introduces lag time or latency.

Canepa asserted that if storage over IP does have a future, it will be a long time coming -- “three to five years or maybe never.” He added, “Storage cannot run on top of a general-purpose stack designed for everything – storage traffic has specific needs.

“The dream of slapping together a TCP/IP network because everyone knows how easy it is to do it, won’t work… The technology hurdles are greater than people realize. Sun is betting that Fibre Channel will be the main driver for SAN communication for some time to come.”

Canepa explained, at length, Sun’s “One” strategy, or “Open Network Environment,” which is essentially about distributed computing and how to manage data across the network from a systems perspective.

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