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LAN and I/O Convergence: A Survey of the Issues
December 1994 (vol. 27 no. 12)
pp. 24-32

Local area networks and computer I/O are both interconnects that move information from one location to another. Despite this shared purpose, LANs have traditionally connected independent and widely separated computers. In contrast, computer I/O has traditionally connected a host to peripheral devices such as terminals, disks, and tape drives. Because these connection tasks were different, the architectures developed for one task were not suitable for the other. Consequently, the technologies used to implement one architecture could not address the issues faced by the other, and the technologies were seen as fundamentally different. However, an examination of the architectural requirements of modern I/O and LANs shows that the differences between the two technologies are now disappearing. We believe that LAN and I/O architectures are in fact converging, and that this convergence reflects significant changes in how and where computing resources are used. To illustrate this convergence and its implications, this article examines several modern LANs and channels.

Martin W. Sachs, Avraham Leff, Denise Sevigny, "LAN and I/O Convergence: A Survey of the Issues," Computer, vol. 27, no. 12, pp. 24-32, Dec. 1994, doi:10.1109/2.335725
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