Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

SAN Isolation Plans Unfold

Amid lots of talk about SAN consolidation, a small group of suppliers is working to keep multiple SANs separate.

SAN isolation, also known as fabric isolation or SAN partitioning, allows multiple SAN fabrics to interact as though they are a single SAN. The goal is to let SANs share expensive gear such as tape libraries, while ensuring many networks in a multisite enterprise don't have to be taken down in order to change configurations or perform other maintenance functions.

Sounds fairly specialized, but at least one vendor claims SAN isolation is selling briskly. According to Gregg Pugmire, executive VP of sales and marketing at LightSand Communications Corp., customers are increasingly asking for his company's i-8100A, billed as a switch that connects SAN devices without merging fabrics.

When two universities wanted to share SAN resources, for instance, one IT manager told Pugmire, "We want to share their toothpaste, but not their toothbrush." Yucky, but you get the picture: Some outfits want to maintain distinct SAN identities and even fabric vendors, but still share costly gear.

Another benefit of SAN isolation is that errors in one domain can be kept from spreading to other segments linked over a WAN or MAN.

  • 1