New Interoperability Initiatives Floated

Six members of the Storage Networking Industry Association’s Supported Solutions Forum (SNIA SSF) —
Brocade, Compaq Computer Corp., EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM Corp. and McDATA Corp. — today announced that SSF members Legato Systems, Inc., Quantum Corp., StorageTek and VERITAS Software have joined them to provide a new solution set that expands on the flexibility and functionality of the first cross-vendor, interoperable storage networking solutions registered and qualified with SNIA in June 2001.

“This cooperation among competing vendors is a model approach to providing customers with interoperable, heterogeneous storage area network (SAN) solutions,” said Marc Oswald, chairman of the SNIA’s Supported Solutions Forum (SSF). “These latest additions to the SSF Solutions Registry demonstrate the SSF’s commitment to provide customers with SAN solutions that offer a broad choice of products and are cooperatively supported by the participating vendors.”

The original solution set included joint qualification of two open storage area network solutions that enabled the coexistence of data zones containing Compaq, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM storage system products on a single, shared Fibre Channel fabric. At that time, participating vendors signed bilateral cooperative support agreements intended to simplify joint customer support in multi-vendor environments.

The new solution set adds additional backup capabilities and multi-vendor disk storage from Compaq, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM; multi-vendor tape storage from IBM, Quantum and StorageTek; and multi-vendor backup/recovery software from Legato Systems, Inc., IBM Tivoli Storage and VERITAS Software, all running on either a Brocade fabric or a McDATA fabric. The Brocade fabric consists of 12 Silkworm 2800 16-port switches at its edge with four SilkWorm 3800 16-port switches at its core. The core switches utilize the higher speed 2 Gb/sec link technology, while the edge switches use 1 Gb/sec link technology. The McDATA fabric consists of four 64-port Intrepid 6000 Series Directors plus a single Sphereon 1000 Series Edge Switch for attaching FC-AL tape drives. The McDATA Director uses 1 Gb/sec technology that is supported and upgradeable to 2 Gb/sec to 10 Gb/sec, while the Edge Switch uses 1Gb/sec link technology.

Open SAN solutions are standards-based storage networks that provide tested interoperability of products supplied by multiple vendors. Potential benefits include increased flexibility for networked storage infrastructures, reduced costs from consolidating SAN islands, greater investment protection and maximized value of storage networking technology. Storage networking customers are able to deploy heterogeneous SANs from multiple suppliers with interoperability and improved support.

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