Years ago life was easy. Large-scale computing came from only one manufacturer and as people used to say, "no-one got sacked for buying IBM." Since then the world has moved on. We now have technology from multiple vendors, each competing to persuade us to take their product, usually to the exclusion of all others.
Stories by Chris Evans
All devices on a storage area network need to be uniquely identifiable. This is to ensure that data transmission occurs between the correct source and target device across a SAN fabric or loop.
My first foray into the world of commercial IT was managing mainframe storage. Those were the days when we operated one or two systems, people talked in gigabytes (no-one knew what a terabyte was) and we thought ourselves awash with DASD (sorry "disk" for those Unix people out there) when we had 300GB to manage. We used to be able to account for almost every dataset (oops, file) on the system and attribute them to owners.
It’s a confusing storage world out there. Making the choice about what storage platform you should use (never mind which vendor) is a tricky business. The industry doesn’t make things any easier by keeping the acronyms so similar. We have DAS (Direct Attached Storage), NAS (Network Attached Storage) and SAN (Storage Area Networks). What do these wonderful TLAs mean and why do we have so many storage technology choices? Let’s look at them in turn.