This article is from the storage FAQ part2, by Rodney D. Van Meter with numerous contributions by others.
Coming soon. My own research is in this area; if you're lucky you might find some pointers by going through my home page http://http://alumni.caltech.edu/~rdv/ (http://alumni.caltech.edu/~rdv/). Contributions welcome. Look for "A Brief Survey of Current Work on Network-Attached Peripherals" in the January '96 ACM Operating Systems Review, by yours truly. An expanded, updated version is available on the web at http://www.isi.edu/~rdv/netstation/nap-research/. (rdv, 96/1/22) http://www.cs.cmu.edu/Web/Groups/PDL/ is Garth Gibson's Parallel Data Lab, where they're doing excellent work on network-attached storage devices. At Lawrence Livermore, they're doing a network-attached RAID array to integrate into HPSS; see http://www.llnl.gov/liv_comp/siof/siof-nap.html. The ViewStation work at MIT, http://tns-www.lcs.mit.edu/tns-www-home.html is concentrating on ATM-attached peripherals, using ATM as a system-area network. The Netstation project http://www.isi.edu/netstation/ (which I work on at ISI) is focusing on IP-connectible peripherals, using a gigabit network as the system backplane.