SNIA Supported Solutions Forum Bears First Fruit

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Six members of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) today announced the first major interoperability initiative registered under the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) to enable data mirroring between geographically dispersed sites for backup/recovery, and to connect remote Storage Area Network (SAN) islands to create a single fabric.

Hitachi Data Systems, Inrange Technologies Corporation, IBM, LEGATO, StorageTek and VERITAS Software today announced the completion of interoperability testing of two jointly- developed open SAN solutions designed to extend storage area networks and offer multiple options for protecting and enabling enterprise backup/recovery of mission critical applications.

“Enterprise customers are looking for scalable, interoperable solutions for their heterogeneous storage environments,” stated Eric Sheppard, research analyst at IDC. “SNIA SSF solutions represent the commitment of participating companies to work together to provide truly interoperable solutions, not just vendor hype. This announcement provides customers with a proven option for implementing high availability SANs for business continuity.”

The SNIA SSF was organized in 2001 to solve customer interoperability problems and to offer customers more choices and flexibility. “Supported Solutions” are multi-vendor interoperable storage networking solutions that are supported by the participating vendors working together for the benefit of end users. The solutions are developed by the participating vendors to meet customer requirements for scalable, flexible, interoperable, cooperatively supported storage networking infrastructures that maximize their investment in storage networking technology.

Customers with the following business requirements are expected to benefit most from this open SAN solution set:

  • Maintain 24×7 operations with the ability to switch to a remote location for disaster recovery;
  • Run mission critical IT applications and mirror databases for business continuity;
  • Require a highly available, reliable, scalable SAN with the flexibility to add ports on demand without disrupting service or sacrificing performance;
  • Aggregate storage systems using independent software vendor offerings for path failover and load balancing;
  • Utilize and/or consolidate tape storage;
  • Connect remote SAN islands into a single fabric; and
  • Require local or remote LAN-Free backup/recovery with drive sharing while supporting a full disaster recovery environment.

The design highlights of this registered solution set include:

  • INRANGE channel extension technology to create a single SAN fabric from two remote SAN islands;
  • A 192-port fabric, comprised of a 64-port INRANGE IN-VSN FC/9000 Fibre Channel Director at the remote site, and 128-port FC/9000 at the primary site.
  • INRANGE IN-VSN 9801 channel extenders to enable data mirroring between
    the two sites using Hitachi TrueCopy and IBM PPRC.
  • IBM Enterprise Storage Server systems and Hitachi Freedom Storage systems, coexisting in the same data zone.
  • IBM 3494 Tape Library with 3590E tape drives, and StorageTek L700 Tape Library with 9840 and 9940 tape drives, coexisting in the same data zone.
  • LEGATO NetWorker and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software applications, tested as separate solutions, to perform LAN-Free backup/restore of disk storage to/from tape libraries
  • Complete path failover, dynamic multi-pathing and load balancing for all disk accesses using VERITAS Volume Manager(TM) with Dynamic Multipathing(DMP) disk storage volume-management software;
  • AIX, Sun, and Windows-based servers configured with access to all storage targets, operating across both disk and tape data zones.
  • Mirroring of DB2 and Oracle databases to maintain data availability and provide backup/recovery of IT applications.

Cooperatively supported by each company, this registered solution set also formally satisfies the SSF criteria of being a “Competitive Solution Set”, as it contains competing disk storage and competing tape storage. The solutions also represent a “Companion Solution Set”, as the two solutions offer the choice of vendor tape backup/restore software as differentiators.

“As data growth continues to explode and increasing demands are placed on existing storage networks, customers require proven, interoperable storage solutions that enable reliable methods of enterprise backup and recovery,” noted Warren Smith, board member, SNIA SSF Committee. “As users continue to implement and expand SANs, mirroring provides a cost-effective method for both backup/recovery and for connecting SAN islands into a single fabric. Today’s announcement is evidence of vendors working together for the good of the customer to provide solutions that can be deployed in the real-world to solve business problems and enable customers to maintain highly available storage networks.”

For additional information about this open SAN solution set, please refer to the Storage Networking Industry Association website at

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