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Why NAS Might Overtake SAN Storage

Nov 17, 2009, 20:47 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Henry Newman)

[ Thanks to Paul Shread for this link. ]

"Truer words could not have been written, and they still ring true today. I am fond of saying that there are no new engineering problems, just new engineers solving old problems. Today SAN and NAS still dominate the market. Many of the tradeoffs are the same, but change is coming.

"While not much has changed in the nearly eight years since that article was written, there are some big changes on the way, particularly for NAS:

* The introduction of NFSv4.1 (pNFS) has the potential to put NAS performance on a par with SAN. NAS vendors are going to have to change their file systems to provide better scalability, however. Up to now, between the performance limitations of NFS and Gigabit Ethernet speeds, it was not important for vendors to have scalable file systems.

* 10GbE is faster than the current SAN fabric performance of 8Gbps Fibre Channel and it is far less expensive (see Falling 10GbE Prices Spell Doom for Fibre Channel).

"With SAN shared file systems, sharing data from multiple machines in a SAN is now possible. It was not possible to easily share data across SANs in 2002, because shared file systems were in their infancy."

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