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LinuxWorld: Future Computing: The warp and woof of data storage

Jan 30, 2001, 05:34 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)

"The major transition that datacenters are currently undergoing is the loss of the ability to say, "This hard disk is attached to that computer." Personal computer storage topologies have been simple: controllers plug into the main bus and manage hard disks. SCSI "fans out" the complexity slightly. That's hardware jargon that recognizes that various SCSI standards allow a small number of drives to connect to one host, and one host -- or, in unusual cases, two -- to connect to a single drive."

"Now processing power and mass storage increasingly need many-to-many interconnections, or a fabric of computing and storage. Advanced SCSI standards supply limited sharing -- so, for example, a hot backup can access live data for failover...."

"Two new standards, with their own arcane labels, should proliferate during the next year. It's unclear whether they'll provide healthy competition for NAS and SAN, or just complicate purchasing decisions. Cisco is working with IBM and several smaller companies on "SCSI-over-IP" (sometimes called "IP storage"), a way to build SANs with familiar SCSI block protocols."

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