has unveiled the first new product since its merger with Inrange, a Fibre Channel/FICON director that the company says is the first to offer integrated metropolitan and wide area network capabilities.
By giving the FC/9000 Fibre Channel/FICON Director product integrated metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN) capabilities, the FC/9000 can support long-distance applications using high-speed interfaces at “virtually unlimited” distances, CNT claims. Potential customer applications include business continuity, data center migration and consolidation, remote disk mirroring, remote tape backup/recovery, data archiving, and consolidation of storage and servers.
“CNT has capitalized on a market opportunity by combining the strengths of the CNT UltraNet products with the switching of the FC/9000 director,” says Randy Kerns, senior partner at Evaluator Group. “Putting FCIP and WDM capabilities on the FC/9000 director is an excellent move that will give IT operations a much more integrated solution for Fibre Channel and FICON storage networks over distance. This will be very attractive to customers.”
“No other company delivers this breadth of solution offerings,” asserts Tom Hudson, CEO, president and chairman of CNT. “This gives customers unparalleled flexibility, scalability, and investment protection with field-proven technology that our customers truly rely upon.”
Product Bodes Well for Merger, Analyst Says
One analyst maintains the speed with which CNT came out with an integrated product bodes well for the merger.
“We have been cautiously watching CNT’s progress through this acquisition and are pleasantly surprised at how quickly they have completed both personnel and initial product rationalization,” says Tony Prigmore, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “There are some real advantages for CNT clients to leverage the combination of CNT’s product and solution elements of their business.”
Cornhr Banca Switzerland is an early – and happy – adopter of the FC/9000. “Corner Bank’s choice of the FC/9000 product could not have been better, especially considering the actual disaster recovery issues we face being in the financial industry,” says Corner IT Director Charles Inches. “This technology makes that process easier to manage.”
The FC/9000 is the first Fibre Channel/FICON switching director to include integrated coarse wave division multiplexing (WDM) capabilities and the first to support Fibre Channel distances from hundreds to thousands of kilometers for regional and global storage networking, according to CNT. The WAN capability leverages CNT’s technology over an IP, ATM, SONET, or dedicated telecommunications infrastructure, giving customers the flexibility to implement storage networks to meet varying needs.
CNT reports the FC/9000 provides a fully redundant, non-blocked switching core that can scale up to 256 non-blocking ports. The flexibility of the FC/9000 reduces SAN management complexity and provides greater return on investment by enabling customers to seamlessly add ports on demand, to intermix mainframe (FICON) and open systems (Fibre Channel) traffic, and to intermix 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps transport speeds without performance degradation, CNT says.
CNT also says the FC/9000 platform has the unique ability to scale without a reduction in switching performance or in the number of user ports available, eliminating management headaches like InterSwitch Links (ISLs), forced trunking, capacity planning, and load balancing.
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