Kanwar Chadha: Yes, you could say that, although distance is only part of the equation. Issues such as low latency transport, total cost of ownership, and buffering are equally critical. In addition, although our products today address existing technologies such as Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, and Internet Protocol, our products tomorrow will likely incorporate iSCSI, Infiniband, 10-Gigabit Ethernet etc. All of this will depend on the market adoption rates for these emerging technologies.
Our products will likely always be complements to existing technologies such as Fibre Channel. We leave the fighting of technology wars to those with much bigger armies. It is not clear which technologies will emerge, but, because of the diversity of applications and end-user needs, most well-informed observers believe it will not be a winner-take-all market. The same holds true for the connection to the outside world, which is why our products are being designed to support T3, OC3/12/48, ATM, and POS [Packet over Sonet] all in the same box. We are fundamentally committed to a protocol-rich, multiservice access approach.
Byte and Switch: A great deal of effort and investment (including Entradas) is going into extending storage networking into the metro and wide-area space. How would you characterize the types of end-user companies that will be buying into this technology, and what sort of distances do they actually need to reach?
Chadha: Our solutions would typically be purchased by companies seeking to deploy remote disk mirroring, disaster recovery, backup, or data replication services to ensure 24x7 business continuance, and businesses that need to make vast data stores available to multiple, dispersed users in real time. We are seeing strong interest to trial our products from the financial, manufacturing, and entertainment verticals, in particular. As for distance, the initial interest will focus on metro solutions. But most of these companies have operations that span the globe, so these solutions must cross vast distances if we are to realize the true potential of SANs.
Byte and Switch: Has anyone published formal study results about the distance requirements that enterprises will be looking for?