Gadzoox is the latest company to tackle the problem of making Sans (storage area networks) easier to implement, writes Nick Enticknap
The company has launched Axxess, described by director of product solutions Erik Ottem as "a San appliance". Axxess allows consolidation of storage devices in such a way that any element of the storage pool can be allocated to any attached server, irrespective of the operating system it is running. It does this by managing disparate physical devices as a homogeneous set of logical volumes.
Axxess consists of a server and software. The server, called an Axxess engine, is built from a Pentium III Xeon chipset specially developed for the job in collaboration with Intel, and runs Windows NT. This comes in two models, with two or four processors, and plugs into a Gadzoox Capellix switch. It supports up to 27 Fibre Channel ports for attaching servers and storage devices, and is configured with a cache of up to 2Gbytes capacity.
The software, which Gadzoox calls Networked Storage Pooling (NSP) has three elements. Datacore is for transforming the capacity of the storage hardware into logical volumes or, as Ottem describes it, "a virtual bucket for pouring physical storage devices into". The second element, Heroix, is for storage management, while the third is a Capellix agent for network management.
Server platforms supported by Axxess are all variants of Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Linux, Netware and Apple Mac.