Storage Networking Industry Association New IP Storage Sub-Group

The Storage Networking Industry Association today announced the formation of a new group within the SNIA IP Storage Forum, the Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) Group, which will promote the emerging FCIP standard for interconnecting geographically distributed Fibre Channel-based storage area networks (SANs) over IP networks.

According to SNIA, the creation of the FCIP Group reinforces the progress made by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in developing the FCIP standard, while underscoring the FCIP protocol as a reliable, cost-effective transport mechanism for block data over IP networks.

The mission of the FCIP Group is to market and promote FCIP as a standards-based block storage networking solution using widely deployed IP networks. The group will help expand market awareness of FCIP benefits through the development of educational materials, public presentations, interoperability and showcase demonstrations, as well as participation in SNIA events.

Among its first initiatives, the FCIP Group announced the immediate availability of the FCIP White Paper, a high-level introduction to FCIP applications and its benefits to end-user customers. This paper is accessible under the IP Storage Forum web page on the SNIA web site. In addition, the group is sponsoring the first FCIP plugfest, which is scheduled for the last week of this month. Other planned activities include a series of FCIP interoperability demos at the Storage Networking World conference October 22-24, 2001, in Orlando, Florida, which will highlight the benefits and business return of FCIP solutions.

The FCIP Group will also help establish market requirements for FCIP solutions, work with industry standards committees to facilitate interoperability and product co-existence, and foster collaboration among the FCIP Group participants.

FCIP combines the advantages of Fibre Channel and TCP/IP to provide an efficient, cost-effective solution for SAN users to interconnect geographically dispersed SANs through reliable, high-speed links. This approach involves transporting Fibre Channel block data over an enterprise’s existing IP infrastructure. The new FCIP protocol standard has rapidly gained acceptance as a manageable, cost-effective way to blend the two leading technologies. As a result, organizations now have an optimized solution to protect, store and move their data while leveraging existing technology investments.

“As organizations increasingly face an enormous influx of data that must be stored, protected, backed up, and replicated, they have turned to Fibre Channel-based SANs to manage these tasks in an efficient, reliable manner,” said Marc Oswald, FCIP Group Chairman. “With the introduction of the FCIP Group, and the development of the FCIP protocol standard, we are making great strides in extending SAN technology over wide distances, while enabling organizations to take advantage of new ways to transport data throughout the enterprise– locally over the SAN and globally over IP.”

In addition to enhanced data access, storage networking customers are also able to take advantage of several FCIP enabled applications including, remote mirroring, tape vaulting, high availability and disaster recovery infrastructure solutions. To learn more, please see the FCIP white paper located on the SNIA web site, www.snia.org.

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