Author: Sam Barnett, Product Line Manager, Serial Attached SCSI and Serial ATA
Storage Products Division, Vitesse Semiconductor
Mention Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) technology to a gathering of IT professionals and the room is immediately charged with an air of excitement. Take the dialogue one step further and associate SAS with Fibre Channel front-ends/fabrics/switching or a Storage Area Network (SAN), and the mood turns somber until economic reality sets in.
SAS technology offers a wealth of benefits to the enterprise server and enclosure customer (high reliability and performance, mixed enterprise/desktop drive support, improved economies of scale), but it was not developed with networking in mind. Even so, with modest extensions to the existing standard SAS could be positioned to dominate the changing storage network landscape.
This article explores SAS technology and its logical extrapolation as a viable protocol for the Storage Area Network (SAN) of tomorrow.