Storage networking connectivity provider Emulex has launched iSCSI and FCIP storage router products.
The Emulex Storage Router Models 725 and 735 use both iSCSI and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) protocols to boost connectivity options for Fibre Channel Sans.
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The Model 725 allows Ethernet-based servers to connect into Fibre Channel-based storage and existing San infrastructure, which the company suggests is an economical way for entry-level servers to leverage shared storage, while Model 735 enables connectivity between remote Sans using the IP network.
The company believes datacentre storage managers have to manage ever-increasing amounts of data generated by users across every level of business, including workgroups and departments using applications such as email, databases, and web servers. It suggests that the commonly used model of storing data within individual servers has become increasingly difficult to manage efficiently and effectively, with tasks such as back-up and provisioning consuming more time as the number of servers proliferates.
Instead, by using iSCSI technology that is native to servers, Emulex says that disk storage can be removed from the individual servers and centralised using the same Fibre Channel storage that is currently deployed widely within corporate datacentres.
iSCSI to Fibre Channel connectivity, such as that provided by the Model 725, is seen as an enabler of the use of existing and proven Fibre Channel Sans for back-up, storage allocation and resource consolidation for this growing population of servers.
The Model 735, says Emulex, will enable more effective centralisation of management and business continuity and disaster recovery best practices. It uses the FCIP protocol to bridge Sans over metro and wide area network (Wan) distances, enabling such critical applications as remote mirroring, data replication and back-up. It offers features such as high performance and hardware-based compression aimed to increase the utilisation of expensive Wan bandwidth.
Emulex says that Fibre Channel-based Sans have become established as a robust and ubiquitous infrastructure within corporations and their use has expanded beyond the core datacentre and into remote compute centres, such as disaster recovery sites, branch offices and retail environments. By utilising FCIP to bridge these Sans together, Emulex believes that firms can ensure timely access to this data and enforce business continuity policies and management.
"Server proliferation remains one of the most critical challenges facing IT managers at mid-sized and large organisations, and a strategy for reducing the costs of server provisioning and administration is consolidating the storage associated with servers and applications," says Richard Villars, vice-president of storage systems research at IDC.