Flirting With Storage Services

Yipes CMO predicts growth in Ethernet services

October 21, 2006

3 Min Read
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2:15 PM -- When you're talking storage services, Ethernet is always part of the discussion. After all, Ethernet seems ideal for transmitting corporate backup traffic over distances that Fibre Channel SANs can't manage without a lot of costly fuss.

But it's tough to get a real take on just how popular these services really are. In a recently published report from Heavy Reading, "2006 Survey of Ethernet Service Providers," senior analyst Stan Hubbard reports that among 50 Ethernet service providers surveyed, 24.3 percent offer storage extension among their applications, but 38.8 percent have no plans to add offerings in the future. Further, 44.2 percent of respondents believe there is "little or no" demand for Ethernet-based storage extension services at any data rate.

At least one service provider begs to differ. According to Keao Caindec, chief marketing officer at recently resurrected Yipes Enterprise Services Inc., the market for Ethernet services is growing at about 40 percent annually. (See Yipes Scares Up $17.5M.) In his view, growth in storage services may be less than that figure, but not by much. "I don't have a clear line of sight to storage growth, but in my estimate it's more than 30 percent," he maintains.

The reason, he says, is that a large number of Yipes' 800-odd customers, more than 70 percent of which are medium to large enterprises, are moving to centralized architectures, in which multiple regional sites feed into a central data center for better control of management and security. IP SANs are a logical fit for these new networks.

What's more, Caindec maintains that Ethernet metro services offer ideal performance for latency-sensitive data. "Our SLA calls for less than 5 milliseconds latency in the metro network, and less than 250 microseconds of jitter," he asserts. "Our actual performance is much better.... It's good for SANs."Despite these claims, Yipes hasn't extended its storage offerings much beyond partnerships with online backup service providers such as LiveVault and IPR. (See Yipes, LiveVault Protect .)

But Caindec points to a service called YipesNOW! that offers customers the ability to order Ethernet bandwidth for, say, a weekly backup or in case of a disaster recovery restoral requirement, and in 24-hour increments with prorated pricing. While customers pay a hefty 50 percent premium over what they'd normally pay for the bandwidth, Caindec says it's still less than overprovisioning bandwidth with a monthly commitment.

Spoken like a true marketeer. But Caindec, who'll be speaking at Light Reading's Ethernet Expo 2006 in New York City next week, says Yipes may be making a bigger commitment to storage. The company's seriously considering offering its own iSCSI-based services.

"Our CTO [Kamran Sistanizadeh, also a co-founder of Yipes] is evaluating technologies now, even though we have no date on when we will roll out. He sees a fit, and we see an increase in demand for storage applications in general," Caindec says.

One thing: Yipes, which uses Extreme, Juniper, Nortel, and Cisco gear in its network, may tailor any iSCSI offerings to specific vertical markets. Perhaps it would support email management features for legal firms, for instance.Caindec also isn't seeing demand among Yipes customers for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet. (See Is It Time for 10-Gig?) Companies interested in 10-Gbit/s, he says, are typically extremely large enough to install their own fiber network to do it themselves.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR)

  • Force10 Networks Inc.

  • Yipes Enterprise Services Inc.

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