The demand for storage capacity continues to surge today, fueled by the growth of the Internet and a rising demand for online access to data. The ability to move and access data has become a mission-critical capability for every enterprise, and there is great pressure both to improve data management and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). The industry is responding with storage networking technology that will add three significant capabilities to corporate network architectures. First, companies will be able to architect shared storage pools that can scale seamlessly. Second, they will be able to greatly reduce restore and backup times by leveraging online archives and new types of secondary storage media. Third, they will enjoy far greater manageability of data because they will have control of their databases from a single central point. The combination of these three things ­ scalability, much faster recovery and backup, and manageability ­ will inevitably reduce TCO of data storage in the near future.

These benefits make a revolution in data storage inevitable ­ in fact, it is well underway. Storage networking, whether network attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN), has become essential to mission-critical IT environments. It is the dominant trend in data storage. Gartner estimates that end-user expenditures on storage networking solutions will exceed $65 billion in 2003. For database managers, the burning question now is: How can we get the greatest return from a major investment in storage network architecture?

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