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Switch Showoffs Prep for Show

McData and Cisco to demo data replication and backup capabilities at the SNW tradeshow

McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) are readying new data management features for their Fibre Channel switches and plan to unveil them at the Storage Networking World tradeshow in Phoenix next week.

McData plans to demonstrate volume management as well as backup and replication features in its Sphereon Intelligent switch platform, with technology it acquired by investing $6 million in Aarohi Inc. (see Aarohi Announces Funding... Again). Cisco will demonstrate a software feature it calls Data Tap Service for its MDS 9000 family of switches.

Intelligent switches place storage management functions on the Fibre Channel switch rather than on the server. McData and Aarohi claim Aarohis architecture speeds packet processing and lowers I/O latency by separating management functions from the movement of data.

McData will use StoreAge Networking Technologies software to perform snapshots, replication, and remote mirroring at SNW, McData product manager Jim Nollsch says. McData will migrate data “on the fly,” so as soon as migration is complete, the data can be accessed from a different array.

Cisco’s Data Tap provides a protocol interface between the SAN switch and backup storage appliances, such as those from IntraDyn Inc., Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), or Data Domain Inc. The appliances can then access data on the SAN without being connected to it. Cisco will demonstrate data replication and backup with partners Alacritus Software Inc., Kashya Inc., and Topio. The three sell software that runs over storage appliances.

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