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 .


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