NAS Evolution: The Insider Scoop

Byte and Switch Insider keeps up with the rapidly changing NAS world

December 2, 2004

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

With NAS demand greater than ever, vendors are revamping their technology and strategies to overcome shortcomings, according to Byte and Switch Insider, this publication's paid subscription research service.

So what's lacking in the NAS world? Typical shortcomings include a lack of scaleability and integration with other kinds of storage gear. These have resulted in islands of storage when companies deploy multiple NAS devices, and poor performance in handling databases and other applications that contain very large files, concludes the report, NAS Update: Survival of the Fittest.

Striving to overcome these problems, a long list of storage vendors have either jumped into the NAS game or modified their strategy over the past year. The result is a more diversified look for NAS. The report looks at these latest developments, including an update of Microsoft Corp.'s influence during its first full year of NAS involvement.

The Insider outlines how NAS is evolving while established public companies and emerging startups react to trends such as:

  • Greater use of NAS gateways in front of SAN-attached storage.

  • More hybrid products that can perform the file I/O of NAS and the block I/O of SANs simultaneously.

  • Stronger uptake of low-end products, driven mainly by Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003.

  • Greater use of distributed file serving across multiple NAS devices.

What does the new NAS world look like? Gateways connected to SAN-attached storage are overtaking standalone NAS systems; established players such as Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), are working NAS more into their storage strategies; and more startups are boldly challenging the established NAS vendors. Were also seeing NAS/SAN hybrids such as NetApp’s FAS900 series gain in popularity. Although these hybrids make sense, issues remain in getting NAS and SAN to work in perfect harmony.

The report also looks at the new class of features and products that have emerged around an attempt to offer more global single-directory file access. It covers several approaches to solving the problem, including clustered file systems, file system virtualization, and global namespace server.

Companies whose products are covered in the report include:

Other companies mentioned include: Ciprico Inc. (Nasdaq: CPCI), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), InoStor Corp. (Oslo: TAD), Maximum Throughput Inc. (Max-T), NeoPath Networks, Pillar Data Systems, and Procom Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: PRCME).— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

More information about the Byte and Switch Insider report, NAS Update: Survival of the Fittest, is available here

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights