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IP SANs Are Sizzling

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Question: Whats the one thing just about everybody’s doing at Storage Network World that usually involves a partner?

Answer: iSCSI.

Although nobody’s sure how big a dent iSCSI is making in Fibre Channel market share, IP SANs are certainly gaining mindshare (and floorspace) at SNW.

IP SAN and other iSCSI devices have been a hot topic here this week, with startups and partnerships frequently involved. LeftHand Networks Inc., one of the early IP startups, has been particularly busy on the partnership front.

LeftHand announced it has deployed more than 750 systems in the last 18 months, and recently signed deals with MPC Computers, Silicon Mechanics, and Verari Systems Inc. to run its SAN/iQ software on their storage systems (see LeftHand Reports Progress).

“Many of these companies are able to participate in network storage now, where two years ago it was impossible,” says Tom Major, LeftHand’s marketing VP. “The building blocks are there now, like Gigabit Ethernet and intelligent architectures.”

MPC Computers runs LeftHand’s software on its new DataFrame 420 system, which replaces its FC-based DataFrame 310fc system. The new system supports 16 250-gigabyte SATA drives per 3U enclosure, with a 4-terabyte configuration priced at $20,000.

Silicon Mechanics announced the SANform M100 based on LeftHand software at the show, and Verari launched its PUREcluster ipSAN October 12 (see Verari Ships IP SAN). Both systems use LeftHand software.

Other iSCSI announcements at SNW:

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) validated Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) LiveState Recovery Advanced Server 3.0 software on its IP SAN systems. Symantec’s software can be used to recover data on NetApp iSCSI volumes.
  • Intransa Inc.
    launched its midrange IP5500 IP SAN, a higher-end version of its entry-level IP3500 system. Pricing for the new system starts at $60,000 for a 2-terabyte configuration and $66,000 for 4 terabytes. Intransa demonstrated interoperability for its controllers with arrays from RASilient System, a startup coming out of stealth with iSCSI arrays it hopes to sell to OEMs (see Rasilient Readies iSCSI SAN for OEMs and Rasilient Rustles Up Cash).
  • LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI) demonstrated an IP SAN based on its iMegaRAID SATA 16 iSCSI RAID controller, running with Yosemite Technologies Inc. disk backup software.
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