Direct-attached storage has been with us for a long, a very long time. Now its hegemony - hey, I'm a journalist, I get to use arcane words (what, words like arcane? Get out of here!) - is being threatened. On the personal front Google and Amazon, the strongest Internet brands, are offering storage over the 'net for free. All you have to suffer are the equivalent of advertising bill boards on the information superhighway as you travel at broadband speeds to your online disk files.

We would use thin PCs with files cached on our PC's disk but master or golden copies held in Amazonian or Googleonian disk farms.

In the datacentre DAS is disappearing too, or has already gone, under the twin assaults of storage-area networks (SAN) and blade servers. NAS filers account for another chunk of disappeared DAS.

Outside the data centre enterprise remote offices and branches are facing persuasion to lose their own drives as well and move over to WAFS, wide-area file system technology with WAN access speeded by data compression and network acceleration so that, if the claims are to be believed, a WAN file access can be as fast as a LAN file access for the PC-based users around the now DAS-less servers.

Now it is time for the great unwashed, small and medium business to me and you, to have the delights of DAS death dangled in front of them. NetApp is positioning iSCSI as shared storage for the masses. In a plug for its DAS-replacement ideas the company states it 'will host a live Webcast roundtable to explore proven steps for a fast and easy transition from legacy DAS to affordable IP SAN solutions.'

Tune in to it on April 6th at 11am Pacific time by registering at www.netapp-web.com/iscsi/techtalkforum_reg.aspx?wcc=WL1.

You will hear spin about the need for servers to lose their spin. A customer will discuss how he 'improved database application performance, reduced annual maintenance costs, and minimized IT overhead by installing NetApp IP SAN.' solutions.

It's probably true too. Remember: DAS is doomed; IP SANs are inevitable; you know it makes sense.