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.

Sandial Switch Surfaces

Startup Sandial Systems Inc. has released its first product and clarified its strategy, months after its originally planned launch date. And the company's approach to Fibre Channel SANs is likely to be provocative.

Sandial's Shadow 14000 Storage Backbone Switch uses time-division multiplexing to regulate the actual bandwidth assigned to specific applications in a Fibre Channel network.

Sandial's nonblocking switch supports 144 Fibre Channel interfaces at 2 Gbit/s; it can be enhanced to support double that number, Sandial says. A menu provides a way for mangers to schedule the minimum and maximum amount of bandwidth allotted to a given application.

This week's announcement is the first big blast from Sandial since its initial flurry of publicity in May 2003 (see Sandial Clocks In). Sandial says it has more than 20 customers for its product in North America and Europe. Right now, the company is working on a new round of funding, attempting to raise about $20 million. It's already raised roughly $60 million.

The idea of guaranteeing SAN performance isn't new. SAN congestion control is often a feature touted by vendors of virtualization products, many of which claim to address a key problem in Fibre Channel networks: namely, that performance degradation in one portion of a SAN fabric slows down all connections.

  • 1