The initial adoption of SAN technology was promoted by Compaq, Sun, and other vendors in the form of small arbitrated loop storage networks. Typically configured with two or more servers, a Fibre Channel loop hub, and a large storage array, these early SANs found homes in top tier enterprises for mission-critical business applications.
Although there were some early adopters in Asia, the vast majority of SAN installations occurred in the U.S. and Europe. Since then, SANs have matured to large configurations based on switched fabrics, and SAN adoption has expanded to Asia, South America, Central America, the Middle East, and Africa.
In addition, multi-national companies, seeing the value of SANs for their data centers, have begun deploying SAN solutions throughout global enterprises. SANs have gone international, both serving and linking disparate parts of the world.
America Trailing on the Technology Curve?
One might expect that the U.S., the birthplace of most SAN technology, would maintain a technical advantage over others. The reality, however, is that in China, India, and other less developed countries, technologists are sophisticated implementers of SAN solutions and are often equally if not more astute than their American counterparts.
This is in part due to the global presence of many U.S. storage networking vendors, which have cultivated local technical talent to service the local geographies, and in part due to the greater focus on technical and scientific education in China and other countries. In addition, Silicon Valley is a true multi-national community, with enhanced technical skills flowing into and out of a major capital of SAN product development.