Although storage area network (SAN) technology has been around for several years, it's been mainly limited to big-budget IT operations, due to cost and complexity.However, the economics of SANs have been changing, thanks to more robust management tools, as well as the fact that SANs can now be deployed without expensive fibre channel technology.

Now, insurance organizations are rolling out SANs based on both high-speed fibre channel infrastructures, as well as slower, but cheaper, IP-based networks. And, in the not-too-distant future, storage management itself may be abstracted in a virtualization layer that encompasses all storage devices and platforms across the enterprise.

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