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McDATA, NetApp Combine IP, Fibre Channel Storage

McDATA and Network Appliance have teamed to offer what the companies claim is the first storage software solution to manage both IP and Fibre Channel SANs.

McDATA will integrate its SANavigator network management software with NetApp's DataFabric Manager software. NetApp will sell the integrated solution through its channels under the NetApp DataFabric Manager brand name.

With the joint solution, users will be able to manage both IP and Fibre Channel-based storage from a single location.

"Storage networking is not about SAN vs. NAS; it's about integrating SAN and NAS solutions into a single networked storage infrastructure," says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Customers need a storage network management solution that can effectively manage their overall storage environment. By offering McDATA's storage network management capabilities, NetApp will be the first to provide customers with a solution that uniformly and centrally manages storage across both Fibre Channel and IP/NAS."

"Most storage network management solutions focus on FC SANs, with limited, if any, support for networked storage on an IP network, which includes NAS and iSCSI devices," Marrone-Hurley tells Enterprise Storage Forum. "By integrating the McData SAN fabric management solution into DFM, NetApp will give their users visibility into both IP and FC-based networks, which is becoming more important, since NetApp customers are using NAS gateways for access to back-end SANs."

One analyst — Mark Kelleher at Wall Street firm Adams, Harkness & Hill — fretted that the partnership with EMC rival NetApp might increase the already strained relationship between McDATA and EMC.

McDATA's SANavigator is expected to be integrated with NetApp's DataFabric Manager suite and available to customers by the end of the year.

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