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Storage Oddities Emerge at Interop

The Interop trade show in Las Vegas this week has produced a sizable number of interesting storage-related announcements -- a few of which can safely be termed unusual. From removable storage to prestandard FCOE networking, these products point to new directions in storage, even as they leave some of us scratching our heads.

We've gathered some highlights of Interop's storage oddities not only to focus on innovations and trends, but as a reminder that tomorrow's breakthrough may be today's three-legged cyclops.

Here's a brief rundown of notable -- if quirky -- announcements:

InfiniBand WAN bridge. Network Equipment Technologies, best known for its communications equipment, has inked an agreement to sell an InfiniBand WAN bridging solution formerly available only to government customers via channel partner Colfax International. The goal is to enable enterprises to create high-performance virtual clusters across multiple sites.

Who needs WAN-linked InfiniBand clusters? The U.S. Naval Research Lab, for one. According to Haseeb Budhani, director of strategic planning for NET, that agency and a handful of others have reduced the cost of high-speed WAN links by deploying the NET NX5000 Series InfiniBand bridging solution. The box reduces latency for data traffic over high-cost ATM links, he says, where it functions like a large, two-port InfiniBand switch, encapsulating InfiniBand traffic in ATM or Sonet physical-layer coding.

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