A panel discussion on "SANs: What are the Choices?" was chaired by Claudia Imhoff, president of Intelligent Solutions as part of the Business Technology conference of COMDEX 2002.Other panelists were Stuart Berman, CTO of Vixel; Bob Hansen, director of Strategic Business Development for Agilent Technologuies; Mark Knittel, group vice president Worldwide Product Operation for CNT; and Ron Powell, publisher of DM Review magazine.

Some of the key points included:

  • There is a place for NAS within a SAN environment.
  • SANs are currently in an evolutionary phase. The panel concluded that the true reality for heterogeneous SAN environments is still three to five years away.

The major hurdles that need to be overcome are an acceptable common interface standard, security issues and the willingness for storage vendors to open their products to other storage companies. Currently SANS are recommended for homogeneous environments where there is a dominant storage vendor.
Benefits derived from a SAN include data sharing and consolidation; simplicity in administration and implementation; scalability; manageabilty for data backups and recovery, and monitoring of storage allocations, capacity and performance.

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