The Holy Grail that Cisco (and all the IP SAN startups) are striving for
is to get storage traffic running over IP and to eventually collapse the two
separate networks into one giant IP network. SANcastles switch has set the
ball rolling in this direction.
Its up against some steep competition. Brocade Communications Systems
Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Gadzoox Networks Inc. (Nasdaq:
ZOOX), McData Corp. (Nasdaq:
Technologies Corp., and all the other major Fibre Channel players are building
gigabit Ethernet ports into their Fibre Channel switches. None are shipping yet,
though. And Cisco is adding a Fibre Channel blade to its Catalyst 6000 LAN switch
through a deal with Brocade. This isnt expected until the end of the year.
When these products ship, the LAN and SAN switches will plug together without
the need for a SANcastle box in the middle.
SANcastle's switch can also map gigabit Ethernet VLAN (virtual LAN) tags to Fibre Channel
zones. These are the two addressing methods networks use to allocate
bandwidth and storage space, respectively, to particular customers. By
plugging them together a company can provide multiple customers on the same
network with private bandwidth and storage without other customers seeing
SanCastle has partnered with several big cheeses in the market, including
Brocade, Anritsu, EDS Corp, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE:
CPQ), and has an impressive management team running the show.
President and CEO, Dave Davenport has more than 20 years experience in the
storage market, most recently as VP of worldwide operation for Hitachi Ltd.s (NYSE: HIT;
Paris: PHA) storage division. And Dennis Talluto, who heads up technology
planning, was previously in charge of Nortel Networks Corp.s
(NYSE/Toronto: NT) optical storage group.