Several leading storage and system vendors, including ADIC, EMC, Emulex, IBM, Legato, Nortel, Spectra Logic, Sun, and Veritas, announced their support when the draft was submitted last December, which should encourage an early IETF adoption.
How this "SoIP opera" plays out is anyone's guess, but one thing is certain: The hard part for many organizations will be making all the hardware and software work together in a cohesive and coherent way. Nishan's SoIP approach represents a milestone in storage networking by giving customers a way to pool storage devices using widely disparate protocols. But more important, it represents a potential foundation for future storage networks.
One of the keys to business success in the new century is the effective use of data. A growing amount of data will inevitably place more strains on your technology. Taking advantage of an enterprise's information is going to require new approaches to how we network our devices and how we make the physical connections.
No matter what your situation is, your data needs are increasing with every hour. How you manage that growth may determine your business' success or failure.
Senior Analyst P.J. Connolly (email@example.com) covers networking and security issues for the InfoWorld Test Center, and remembers when an 80MB drive was as big as a clothes dryer.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Business Case: Smart companies will spend more time planning their storage networks for flexibility instead of agonizing over specifics. Fiber-optic technology is key for ensuring that whatever choice is made remains useful in the future. Finding ways to harness competing technologies will require rethinking how storage networks are designed.
Technology Case: Whether you prefer NAS or SAN, you'll probably have to support both if your company undergoes an acquisition or merger. Making them work together requires either inefficient IP tunneling schemes or integrating storage protocols with IP technology.
+ Fiber is essential for its superior transport capacity
+ SoIP promises to connect disparate storage protocols
+ Segregating storage devices to an isolated network allows for faster device interfaces without network restructuring
- Many SAN schemes don't interoperate well
- SoIP needs wide standards acceptance to be useful