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Cisco Touts Storage-Over-IP Project

One of the first European examples of IP being used for a large-scale storage network with stringent performance requirements has been announced by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

The project, rolled out by an operator of a financial futures exchange called Euronext LIFFE, appears to demonstrate that storage-over-IP technologies arent limited to low bandwidth, non-mission-critical applications, as some vendors claim.

The issue blew up at the WDM and Metro Optical Networking conference in Cannes, France, today.

In a session on storage over optical networks, Viplob Syngal, director of optical networks in EMEA for Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), ruled out storage over IP for projects with stringent latency and jitter requirements. He also said the economics of storage over IP didn’t stack up for high bandwidths.

As it happened, a contrary point of view was offered by Stephen Elkes, head of infrastructure engineering at Euronext LIFFE. Cisco brought Elkes to the conference to brief journalists on his organization’s storage-over-IP project, which runs over high-bandwidth, 2.5-Gbit/s connections and has to conform with very tight latency tolerances to ensure that all of Euronext LIFFE’s customers get the same market information at the same time. This is so critical that delays are measured in milliseconds and are constantly monitored and adjusted to ensure fair play.

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