Attention Fibre Channel Fans!

Attention Fibre Channel Fans!

Dave Simpson


If you`ve caught Fibre Channel fever, as we have, you may want to head out to San Jose next month for the first annual Fibre Channel Technologies Conference. See our News section for a preview or go to www.fibreconference.com. They`re promising almost 100 speakers, more than 30 exhibits, and sessions and tutorials on virtually every aspect of the emerging interface.

And in this month`s issue, we`ve got a couple of articles on storage area networks ("Adding Intelligence to SANs" and "Access Control Methods for SANs"). Fibre Channel isn`t the only interconnect for building SANs, but it will certainly be the dominant one.

But we`re not all bozos on this bus. We`ve tempered this month`s coverage with an article on "The Future of SCSI," because it`s clear that this tried and true interface will remain dominant for quite some time. In fact, according to the latest predictions from Dataquest, shipments of Fibre Channel drives won`t exceed SCSI drive shipments until at least 2002. Like Dataquest, we think the SCSI market will get a big lift from Ultra2 LVD over the next three years--or until whenever Fibre Channel hits the mainstream.

A Removable Feast

On the desktop front, there`s an interesting battle going on in the removable storage market. While facing its own internal challenges, incumbent Iomega is facing some interesting competitive challenges to its 100MB Zip, mostly from the 120MB SuperDisk--promoted primarily by Imation--and Sony`s yet-to-be-delivered 200MB HiFD. Sony`s the dark horse here, but they may be able to do to this market what they`re doing to the rewritable DVD arena--stoke competition and confusion. And for higher-capacity requirements, you can`t rule out SyQuest or for that matter TeraStor`s near-field recording, which is supposedly due late this year.

Like about 14 million other people, I have a Zip drive, but I sorta wish my laptop and PC would have come with a SuperDisk, and I may upgrade. Compatibility with all those 1.44MB floppies is a real plus, and my desk is cluttered enough without yet another--albeit small--drive on it.

What do you think: Zip, SuperDisk, HiFD, other? If you send in your comments, be sure to let us know whether you`re an OEM, VAR, storage integrator, or end-user. Iomega seems to have won the battle at the user level--at least for now--but the battle is shifting into the channel.

This article was originally published on August 01, 1998