Storage Giants Jockey at SNW

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As usual, Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla., this week has been the launching pad for plenty of new storage products, and some big names are using the event to target new markets.

Cisco Systems and Brocade Communications Systems used the conference as an opportunity to move down market, while Microsoft saw the event as a chance to enter the SAN and high-end NAS markets.

Rivals Brocade and Cisco continue to duke it out in the storage fabric space.

Cisco unveiled its MDS 9020 Fabric Switch, which Paul Dul, director of product management, said is geared to compete with the Brocade 200E and McData 4400 switches in the small to midrange switch market.

Those rival machines are geared to manage one device at a shot, with the option to add more management. But Dul said the 9020 covers the entire SAN fabric for medium-sized businesses, thanks to the Cisco Fabric Manager, a GUI-based management tool that discovers and manages machines across the storage area network.

The switch, which can be used with any other enterprise-class Cisco switch or director, features 20 ports and pipes data at 4 gigabits per second. EMC, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, and Xiotech will offer the MDS 9020 at their own discretion in November.

Cisco estimates the market for the MDS 9020 will be more than $300 million going forward.

Top Cisco rival Brocade updated its Tapestry application software by offering Tapestry Data Migration Manager (DMM). DMM is a device that helps customers shuttle data across heterogeneous storage devices residing on a SAN, said Tom Buiocchi, vice president of worldwide marketing and support at Brocade.

DMM will be generally available November 1 as an accompaniment to Tapestry Wide Area File Services (WAFS), which ensures the security and storage of data across remote offices, and Tapestry Application Resource Manager (ARM), which provisions application resources within a data center using SANs.

Brocade also upgraded its services for assessing and implementing storage networking solutions.

These include SAN design and architecture assessment; WAFS Design and Integration for companies implementing a branch office strategy; MetaSAN Integration for SAN consolidation, where multiple isolated SAN fabrics are linked; and SAN Life, a new service in which Brocade professionals conduct onsite analysis at scheduled intervals.

Microsoft Enters SAN Space

Microsoft used Storage Networking World to announce its Simple SAN for Windows Server Program and a joint marketing effort with PolyServe, moving the software giant into higher-end storage markets.

The Simple SAN plan was launched to assuage the difficulty of deploying and maintaining SANs. As part of it, Microsoft said the forthcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 will include Storage Manager for SANs, a SAN-provisioning application.

Microsoft’s joint marketing effort with PolyServe will bring Windows-based network attached storage (NAS) clustered file solutions to market for file server consolidation. PolyServe Matrix Server allows several Windows-based NAS and servers to function as a single system.

As part of the deal, PolyServe will make available a file server consolidation assessment tool and consulting and implementation services.

Article courtesy of

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

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