McData Unleashes Storage Director With Smarts

McData unveiled a device designed to route
massive amounts of data across large heterogeneous networks more efficiently.

Highlighting a shift in the storage space to products with more
advanced
networking capabilities, the Intrepid i10K is an intelligent “backbone”
director that performs storage area network consolidation
by
providing partitioning from application to the array.

The i10K boasts 10 gigabit-per-second disaster recovery to get systems
up
and running, as well as routing, virtualization and carrier-class
availability, said Michael Maxey, product marketing manager at McData.

Unique features include independent code isolation, which allows users
to
isolate errors and secure partitions among different operating systems
such
as Microsoft Windows and Unix. Dynamic resource movement helps clients
migrate resources among partitions to deal with network traffic
fluctuations. Software process restart boost availability on the
network.

McData has conducted research on the backbone director space,
concluding
that backbone systems will represent 8 percent of all fibre channel
ports,
with revenues reaching $447 million by 2007 in the space.

Enterprise customers in financial services, telecommunications and
other
vertical markets are looking for such products at a time when data
loads
continue to grow in the face of strict budget caps and a host of pesky
compliance regulations.

To that end, McData hopes to blaze a trail in this market over rivals
like
Cisco Systems and Brocade Communications Systems
, with whom it vies for placement with original equipment
manufacturers like IBM , EMC and
Hitachi
Data Systems

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Nancy Hurley applauded McData’s play
in a
research note, noting that the backbone of the storage network should
have
multiple access points allowing networks to interconnect to the core
SAN.

“McDATA obviously has a vision for the future of SAN networking,”
Hurley
said. “Considering McData’s proven capability to deliver data center
quality
FC directors, quality edge and interconnect devices and comprehensive
management solution, the company is in an excellent position to deliver
on
that vision to the storage community.”

Intrepid i10K will be priced at the discretion of OEMs. It is based on
the
Bloomfield, Colo., company’s new FlexScale architecture, which it acquired
in 2003 with the purchase of fabric vendor Sanera.

The machine will initially ship with 256 ports, but it can scale up to
1,024
ports with the product’s multi-terabit architecture. For speed, the
initial
shipment is 1,2 and 10 gigabit , with a 4-gigabit
product
coming out later this year. The device will support fibre channel
and FICON .

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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