SAN products to work together

The end of storage Balkanization was proclaimed last month at the Storage Networking World conference in Orlando, Fla.

The buzz centred on interoperability laboratories and how hardware vendors have committed themselves to making storage area network (SAN) products that can exist in different computing environments. High-level executives from EMC Corp., IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. have promised that their machinery will function alongside that of their competitors and with a wide range of servers and operating systems.

“I think the interoperability challenges of the late ’90s will be a thing of the past,” said Greg Reyes, president of Brocade Communications Systems in San Jose, Calif.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and Compaq announced yesterday that they have broken ground in Colorado Springs, Col. on what will be the largest independent storage network on the planet. The idea is to create a testing facility that will help developers achieve a truly open SAN infrastructure.

“It’s not just about one box or one switch. … You have to make sure your network is extensible across thousands of devices,” Reyes said.

Larry Krantz, senior technologist at EMC and chairman of the SNIA, said customers are forcing vendors into commonality and standards as they begin to shop for products that can meet their exploding storage needs.

“They don’t want to see big vendors fight anymore,” he said. “Customers want stuff that works together. They want to create a network and then upgrade it piece by piece. It has to come.”

Linda Sanford, senior vice-president of IBM’s storage group, said, “The promise of true storage networking is at the data-sharing level across any platform or across any operating system.”

Reyes said hardware vendors are phasing out the traditional connectivity links between storage and servers and have begun to fully support Fibre Channel, a SAN protocol that increases connectivity over the traditional SCSI protocol.

Reyes said hundreds of software applications are being developed to take advantage of a standards-driven underlying infrastructure, which should help make the dense and complicated world of SAN management far more streamlined and simple.

Tivoli Systems Inc. in Austin, Tex., released SAN management software that conforms to Fibre Channel standards set by the American National Standards Institute. Paul Ellis, Tivoli’s director of marketing for its storage business unit, said it is the lack of standards that has slowed SAN adoption in corporate America.

Information technology managers don’t want to buy software or hardware and then have to worry about it not working, Ellis said. “We’re just now getting to the point where we can offer IT managers a real sense of security about this stuff,” he said.

BMC Software Inc. in Houston also released a cross-platform storage managing tool designed to channel network resources to handle heavily accessed information and to determine optimal placement for data.

Reyes said such products will help increase the functionality of existing SANs and create a new boom market as companies learn how to use their data as they gain greater access to it.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Previous article
Next article

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now