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RealTime IT News

Storage Pulse Beats Strong at Trade Show

Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla. this week is the launching pad for plenty of new storage products.

While the Aperia open source storage management group stole the lion's share of attention, rivals Brocade Communications Systems and Cisco Systems are continuing to duke it out in the underappreciated, but important, storage fabric space.

Cisco today 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 (SAN) .

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 meanwhile 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.

Finally, Brocade has upped its services ante 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 also used Storage Networking World to announce its Simple SAN for Windows Server Program and a joint marketing effort with PolyServe.

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

Also on the table is Microsoft's joint marketing effort with PolyServe to bring Windows-based Network Attached Storage 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.