Stories by Scott Tyler Shafer and Mario Apicella

Opinion: The iSCSI iceberg

Are you sick of hearing about the future of iSCSI and all the glowing predictions of what it will bring? Well, so are we. For every one article we've written on iSCSI over the past three years, we've had at least 10 briefings. Alas, it's only just started.

Brocade's new bag

We love jokes around here. Especially the ones that begin with "knock, knock." But first let's talk about Brocade Communications Systems.

HP's partner search

If you think making storage devices from different vendors coexist harmoniously in your datacenter is difficult, consider how baffling it must be for H to consolidate two distinct -- and possibly overlapping -- lines of storage products from premerger Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.

Opinion: With a silver spoon

January 1 marked not only the birth of a new year but also the delivery of a new storage company, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), the offspring of Hitachi Ltd.'s US$2 billion acquisition of IBM's disk drive business in December. Although no longer involved in daily operations, IBM maintains a minority interest (30 percent) in the new company, pending completion of the acquisition, which is expected within three years.

Opinion: Tales of the tape

Unless it's the only protection you have for your databases, a tape backup may seem passe. After all, disk-based copies now offer more flexibility and less exposure to operating snafus.

The backup mantra

Not only are we interested in the concept of pervasive computing here at InfoWorld, we're also confident that it's only a matter of time before it becomes a reality in every enterprise. At that point, pervasive computing will become a huge network and security headache, but for now it is mainly a storage issue.

Opinion: Spell it out for me

What should next year bring us in regard to storage? A more favorable market and a more robust economy would answer everybody's prayers, but unfortunately, that's beyond our control. So, we can only keep our hopes high and our fingers crossed.

Opinion: Alternative SANs

Despite economic uncertainty, we still think this was a good year for storage. New technologies such as iSCSI and Serial ATA moved from the drafting board to the market and promise further interesting developments. Increased competition among FC (Fibre Channel) gear vendors has resulted in more affordable solutions and better manageability. Moreover, the future promises a combined FC and iSCSI network that will make networked storage even more pervasive and flexible to meet business requirements.

iSCSI faces hazy future

Depending on whom you ask, the iSCSI protocol, expected to be finalized in the next six months, either will play a significant role in the future of storage networking or will become just another unfulfilled technology promise. The debate raged on last week at the Storage Networking World conference.

Need Capacity?

For some time, NAS products have been knocked for their inability to scale and for being difficult to manage. Well, that is changing: Startups Spinnaker Networks and 3Par are the latest to release next-generation NAS products that promise to solve both problems. However, one question emerges -- what the hell do we do with all this capacity?

Moving on up

All the Linux-centered "wows" for the foreseeable future will probably be sparked by the recent Red Hat 8.0 release and stretch the never-ending debate: Is Linux ready for the desktop?

Expanding on tapes

Solving data protection woes for an IT department and its users calls for more than just faster backup devices. In fact, many vendors are exploring more comprehensive solutions that essentially provide integrated hardware and software components for increased manageability and performance.

Moving targets

For the hunters out there: No, we are not talking about venison this week. The moving targets we refer to are the files your users keep on network shares -- thousands of word processing, spreadsheet, and database files, not to mention technical diagrams, blueprints, and CAD documents.

CPUs hit the wall

Common knowledge says I/O operations are the slowest link in your performance chain. After all, CPUs are still many times faster than storage devices; hence, the average business application will likely saturate storage bandwidth resources while the processors still have capacity to spare. Right?

Welcome, iSCSI

After two years of countless meetings and animated discussions, the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) announced the completion of a final iSCSI standard draft. The last call for revisions triggered only a few minor requests for edits -- in other words, the standard is good to go. For the storage public, this milestone is the equivalent of the white smoke announcing to the world that a new pope has been elected.