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Intelligent Storage Fabrics


There are many benefits to running some software on your Fibre Channel switch. The first and most obvious is eliminating host software while maintaining interoperability among storage arrays. In a typical Fibre Channel environment, some software (a replication program, for example) is run on the array, while other apps (like virtualization) usually run as agents on each host that accesses the SAN.

However, there are also problems with this arrangement: If you're running host agents, you must install software on each host that requires access. The more machines you touch, even with automated distribution software, the greater the chance something will go wrong. And if you're not using automated distribution software, good luck. In addition, with software that runs on your disk array, you commonly (though not always) face the problem of vendor lock-in. If you rely on the software to run your systems, you can't very well change array vendors.

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