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Users Wait for Switch Virtualization

NEW YORK -- Enterprise storage administrators here at the Storage Decisions conference say virtualization belongs in the switch rather than on an appliance or in the controller. But they acknowledge that the products aren't cooked yet.

In a panel discussion, Alan Grantham, storage architect of Natonwide Insurance, and Peter Carucci, senior storage administrator at New York Stock Exchange, say they want storage virtualization -- in an intelligent switch approach. But since current products are inadequate and intelligent switches aren't quite ready, they believe implementation is months away.

Both have evaluated the Invista product from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which deploys an intelligent switch approach; the IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
SAN Volume Controller (SVC) appliance; and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)
TagmaStore, which puts virtualization in the controller. (See EMC Unveils Invista, Hitachi Struts Mr. Universal, and EMC & IBM in Virtual Skirmish.)

I think the intelligent switch technology in the enterprise environment is the way to go,” says Carucci, who manages 250 TBytes of networked storage.

Invista works with intelligent switches from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD). McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) expects to have its intelligent switch ready early next year.

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