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Over the past ten years, Fibre Channel (FC) has become the technology of choice for Storage Area Networks (SANs) worldwide. In the process, it has generated a wide range of new storage solutions, including higher-performance block transport, high-availability storage access, streamlined data center operations for backup and data protection, and higher-level storage services based on virtualization and advanced management utilities. Other technical innovations, such as InfiniBand, Network-Attached Storage (NAS), and iSCSI, however, periodically spark temporary debate about Fibre Channel's future and its viability as the next generation SAN transport. As of mid-2008, the Fibre Channel installed base is estimated to be well over 10 million ports.
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