At N+I in June, SANcastle took the wraps off its GFS-8 Global Data Fabric
switch which sounds like a bold move, and is (see SANcastle Announces 1st Product).
The product sits between the LAN backbone and the SAN backbone and
provides bidirectional integration of Fibre Channel and gigabit Ethernet
networks without the need for disruptive technology changes, the company
Essentially this product is a service providers flexible friend (not unlike Gumby) for
two reasons. First, it can connect Fibre Channel SANs over an IP backbone or,
alternatively, Ethernet/IP LANs over a Fibre Channel backbone.
Connecting a Fibre Channel SAN over IP enables enterprises (or service providers) to
tie together remote islands of storage over existing wide area networks. The
downside to this approach is that they have to trust their data to IP
which is not known for reliability. The iSCSI standard for transporting
storage data over IP is expected to address these issues, although its
stuck in the approvals process right now.
Connecting an Ethernet/IP LAN directly to a Fibre Channel backbone, on the other
hand, provides a more reliable path for data. It also boosts performance.