In this issue...
I`ve been covering the storage industry for more than 16 years, but I have to admit that this switch and hub business throws me for a loop. Aren`t these the things the network nerds handle, not the storage savants? Not so anymore, as networking and storage disciplines converge around storage area networks.
If you`re like me, and need a good backgrounder on hubs and switches, be sure to read-and pass along--Tom Clark`s "Fibre Channel hubs or switches?" The article explains how these networking devices work, what you need to know about them, and when one solution may be better than the other.
If you`re interested in Fibre Channel, you`ve probably been hearing a lot of vendor hype about 100MBps throughput and connectivity of 126 devices per loop. If you want the real story, take a close look at the Labs Review this month. With some exhaustive research and testing, the University of Minnesota`s Tom Ruwart provides the best study I`ve seen of real-life performance of large and long FC-AL loops. Unless you`ve got an unlimited test/evaluation budget, you won`t be able to duplicate Tom`s research.
In a continuing attempt to balance our coverage between emerging technologies such as Fibre Channel and bread-and-butter mainstays such as SCSI, we tapped the SCSI Trade Association to give you a preview of the SCSI road map--"The future of SCSI." Mark Delsman shows why the stalwart interface of the storage industry will continue to meet I/O requirements well into the next millenium.
Our Special Report ("Maximize resources through tape sharing")this month breaks new ground in looking at the possibilities for sharing tape libraries and drives. This is an emerging field, and there are as many approaches as there are vendors taking a stab at it. Managing editor Heidi Biggar provides an overview that sets the stage for ongoing coverage in InfoStor.