Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New SAN technology - faster response time

A new technology is on the horizon that could provide a significant boost to the Storage Area Network (SAN) market. It's called Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and it is expected to hit the streets later this year. All of the major players are developing the necessary infrastructure, including chipsets, network adapters and switches capable of handling 10 gigabits per second of data transfer.

According to an article published today at InformationWeek, Cisco has developed 10-Gpbs capable switches in 20- and 40-port models, and is expanding the product line with chassis/blade versions for delivery later in 2009. Intel, Emulex and QLogic are already shipping 10-Gpbs network interface cards designed to work with these Cisco devices. And other manufacturers are building new lines of products to support these developments.

The significance of this is found in the way today's businesses are exploiting their data. Contemporary business applications, both internal and customer-facing, require rapid access to ever-increasing amounts of data. Think about the predictive modeling that goes into Amazon's "recommendations" and expand it exponentially. That kind of analytical power will create unacceptable response times using conventional data access technology. It's why fiber channel SAN devices were originally developed. By enhancing the capability of Ethernet to transport data more speedily from the SAN to the application server (that's doing all the work), we can make more sophisticated analysis available to all types of users. This will improve decision-making, enhance customer experiences, and make SAN technology more flexible and adaptable to changing business requirements.

InformationWeek Reports: Tech Strategy (Link requires registration)

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