IP Steals Spotlight at Storage Show in Phoenix Page 2 - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

IP Steals Spotlight at Storage Show in Phoenix Page 2

SNW wouldn't be right if it didn't feature a dizzying number of standards interoperability demonstrations from vendors, their partners and standards groups, such as the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

SNIA Monday said storage networking vendors of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) will embark on the largest demonstration of interoperable Fibre Channel switches at the show this week.

The demonstration will consist of heterogeneous storage area networks (SANs) built with switches and storage devices from SNIA SSF members including Cisco, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, INRANGE Technologies, McDATA, QLogic and Sun Microsystems. The availability of the previewed multivendor SAN switch products is slated for this summer.

Analysts argue switch interoperability is a key factor in building and managing heterogeneous SANs because it enables IT staffs to interconnect devices from different storage vendors within the same fabric. End users will also be able to build on that by building "edge products" such as IP storage routers and blade servers that host embedded Fibre Channel switches.

Phil Mills, chairman of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum, described the multivendor switch demo is an examples of vendors who have put aside their competitiveness to work for the good of the customer and the industry."

While multivendor switching is important, it's hardly the only demonstration at SNW. Many industry experts will no doubt anxiously await Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S,