McDATA IP Switch Takes On Cisco

McDATA has rolled out the first new product from its recent
acquisition
of Nishan Systems, an IP switch that gives Cisco a run for its money.

The Eclipse 1620 is a four-port switch that supports iSCSI, iFCP, and Fibre Channel, and combines intelligent network services with unified management support via SANavigator. It also provides 3-5 times the performance of Cisco’s SN 5428 Storage Router.

McDATA says the Eclipse 1620, which starts at $12,000-$15,000, provides throughput of 353-440 MB per second, compared to 140 MB/s for the Cisco 5420 and 5428. IOPS (I/Os per second) of 45,192 top Cisco’s 9,340, according to McDATA.

The combination of Nishan’s technology and McDATA’s name could be a winner according to one analyst.

“I always thought Nishan had a better solution than Cisco,” says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “They supported more ports and more protocols. However, they weren’t Cisco, and therefore they had a difficult time penetrating the market as a newcomer, although they were definitely gaining traction with their solutions. Now that this is a McDATA product, it has the backing of one of the market leaders, and really completes McDATA’s end-to-end portfolio.”

McDATA is positioning the switch as an affordable means of providing high-performance business continuity and disaster recovery for enterprise and mid-range markets. The 1620 delivers business continuity and disaster recovery, storage consolidation, and iSCSI connectivity typical of large enterprise storage networks to enterprise branch offices and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Robust long distance storage networking solutions can be deployed at half the connectivity cost and with “three to five times the performance of competing products,” McDATA claims.

The 1620 “enables cost-effective distance connectivity for storage replication to solve a key business continuance requirement of not having all your storage eggs at one location,” says David Hill, Aberdeen Group’s VP of storage research.

John Webster, Data Mobility Group senior analyst and founder, says iFCP facilitates internetworking of SAN islands “without propagating faults from
one SAN fabric to another.”

The 1620 also offers integrated management of an enterprise-wide multi-protocol network through McDATA’s SANavigator, a heterogeneous SAN management tool that can discover, manage, and launch element management tools for configuring all of McDATA’s SAN Internetworking switches, including the 1620, the IPS 3300, and the IPS 4300.

McDATA marketing VP Mike Gustafson states the 1620 “marks McDATA’s early delivery on commitments related to our recent acquisitions — with more still to come.”

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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