A Storage Architect from Fortune 500 on SAS Migration

Technology recently met with storage architect from a Fortune
500 Company located in St. Paul, Minnesota to get his insights
on the issues surrounding migration from parallel SCSI to
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). In the following interview, our
storage architect shares his views on why moving to SAS will
ensure the flexibility needed to meet the storage challenges
of today and tomorrow.

role does parallel SCSI play in your current storage mix?

It’s a diminishing one. We use a SAN in our central
datacenter with a plan for NAS. Parallel SCSI is used with
servers in small office environments where SAN or NAS are
not practical.

will migrating from parallel SCSI to Serial Attached SCSI
(SAS) affect your overall storage strategy?
Perhaps it could lower our costs if it performs as well
as Fiber Channel. We could produce a lower cost SAN using
SAS technology.

your transition from parallel SCSI to SAS take place gradually,
or will it occur relatively quickly?
It depends upon how quickly our hardware vendors adopt
SAS. When the infrastructure is ready and reliable, we’ll
begin evaluating our transition plans and infrastructure requirements.

will you benefit from the improved performance (3.0Gb/s, with
a roadmap to 12.0Gb/s) and full-duplex, point-to-point architecture
of Serial Attached SCSI?
SAS could be extremely valuable if it’s lower cost
than Fiber Channel technology, yet just as reliable. We could
benefit from its serial architecture in developing lower-cost

challenges do you face when expanding storage now, and what
will the greater scalability of SAS mean to you?
SAS may make sense in some of our smaller sites. Since
Fibre Channel is the ultimate storage network topology, I
see SAS adding value in managing storage where distance isn’t
the greatest priority.

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