IP Deemed Travelworthy

Readers make IP more popular than Sonet as SAN extension, although most still aren't biting

March 20, 2004

2 Min Read
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IP tops the list of readers's SAN extension choices in this month's Byte and Switch poll, though it's not the only method favored.

Readers apparently disagree with our February report that found IP isnt quite ready to unseat Sonet/SDH as a SAN extension technology, owing to its limitations for data mirroring (see Report: Sonet's Tops for SAN Extension).

Still, only 24 percent of poll respondents say IP is the sole transport method to extend SANs. Sonet/SDH and CWDM and/or DWDM are each being used by 12 percent of respondents, while one-third of those polled use a combination of wavelengths, Sonet/SDH, and IP.

On the face of it, these results indicate users are deploying different techniques for different needs -- IP use for backup, Sonet for average accessibility, and WDM for continuous uptime (see Report: SANs and the City).

Other results seem to bear this out. Of those polled, 21 percent said they're using SAN extension for backup, while 26 percent of those polled said they use it for a combination of synchronous and asynchronous data mirroring. Eighteen percent use it for asynchronous data mirroring, and 15 percent for synchronous mirroring only. Twenty-one percent find other uses for SAN extension.The poll shows the popularity of SAN extension rising. Though 48 percent said they were not using it, compared to 41 percent who were, 44 percent of those who aren’t using it said they planned to adopt it within a year; 29 percent were unsure. Only 26 percent of those not using it now have no plans to start within the next year.

When asked why they're not using SAN extension, 19 percent said they don’t need it, another 19 percent said the technology is not ready, and 15 percent said it costs too much. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- cited other, unspecified, reasons.

Availability may be an obstacle. One-third of respondents said they are developing or plan to develop their own SAN extension in house, implying that what they're looking for isn't on offer from a third party. Another 23 percent said they use telco service for SAN extension, while only 7 percent use or plan to use an outsourcer.

To add your input and check all results, click here.

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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