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Ethernet storage based on iSCSI SAN, NAS, and in the future Fibre Channel over Ethernet is becoming more and more prevalent in data centers because of its lower cost and ease of use and the ubiquity of Ethernet as a physical transport. With the strong growth of server virtualization and the emergence of 10GbE and Enhanced Ethernet, the future looks very bright. This paper presents an overview of Ethernet and its growth, and discusses the pros and cons of the storage networking alternatives available today. The benefits of Ethernet storage and the drivers for continued growth are discussed, as well as the impact of I/O consolidation and unification.
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