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SNIA embraces Ethernet for storage networking

The Storage Networking Industry Association this week made a change that really brings home just how much Ethernet is making itself felt in storage networking.

SNIA changed the name of its IP Storage Forum to Ethernet Storage Forum and expanded the forum's charter to drive the adoption of all Ethernet-connected storage networking products.

SNIA is a not-for-profit organization with more than 420 member companies and nearly 7,100 active individuals that promotes standards and develops education and services to push storage networking.

The forum will consist of two special interest groups. The iSCSI SIG will continue the mission of the IP Storage Forum, getting the word out about iSCSI and its benefits. The group produces marketing materials to explain the technology's features and discuss best practices. Group members include Compellent, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, NetApp and Sun.

The second special interest group is new – the NFS SIG. Its job will be to get the word out about NFS-based network-attached storage, which is attached via Ethernet. Founding members of the SIG are EMC, NetApp, Panasas and Sun. The forum says it also plans to create a special interest group focused on the CIFS/SMB protocol.

The SNIA says that the topic of Ethernet-attached storage needs to be addressed because Gigabit Ethernet endpoints, 10 Gigabit backbones and iSCSI and NAS are so common. More than 30% of the storage-networking market will be Ethernet-connected this year, SNIA says, and certainly vendors have been riding the wave of data center consolidation around Ethernet networks.

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