Storage & Networks Converge

Networking vendors will bring storage-related products to the masses at Interop

May 1, 2006

4 Min Read
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LAS VEGAS -- WAFS, security, and data compression are all on the agenda at this year's Interop show, as the worlds of networking and storage converge in Sin City. Here's a look at some items to expect:


Cisco has overhauled its 7200 router platform with enhancements designed to boost its WAFS (wide area file services) story. The story highlights how WAFS is heating up, with Riverbed's recent decision to file for its S-1, underlining the growing momentum in this space. (See Riverbed Makes It Official, and Sources: Riverbed Reaches for IPO.)

The 7200 is used in data centers to aggregate information from Cisco's Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) situated at branch offices. In addition to other voice and data features, the ISRs also contain WAFs technology from Actona, which Cisco acquired for $82 million in 2004. (See Cisco Wades Into WAFS, and Cisco Acts on Actona.)

At the heart of today's announcements is a new network engine that Cisco claims can double the 7200's throughput to 2 million IP or MPLS packets per second. The engine, which is essentially a router blade, offers users a higher-speed link for file sharing, according to Cisco execs. Stefan Dyckerhoff, director of the vendor's midrange routing business unit adds: "This could be a good fit for SMBs looking to aggregate their storage across different sites."The new NPE-G2 blade, which is priced at $19,000, will be available this month.

Expand Networks, which is tackling WAFS through specialized WAN optimization devices, as opposed to routers, will take the wraps off its latest high-end offering tomorrow, the 7940 Accelerator. The 2U device comes with 3 Tbytes of storage, unlike its predecessor, the 6940, which offered just 500 Gbytes, according to Chris Williams, Expand's chief marketing officer. "This means that we can support larger remote offices and more users per office," he adds.

But the extra storage comes at a cost. The list price for the 7940, which will be available sometime this quarter, is $24,995, compared to $19,995 for the 6940.

Availl is among other WAFS and WAN optimization vendors out to showcase their wares this week. Availl is showing its latest WAFS and CDP software, and will announce a new customer win, the Resolution Law Group, tomorrow.

Tacit Networks is demonstrating the latest version of its Ishared WAN optimization software. (See Availl Adds Features , Availl's Customers Double, and Tacit Goes Optimization Route.)Juniper, which offers WAFs on its WXC software, will add flesh to the bones of its own WAN optimization story this week, unveiling plans to add Web content caching and SSL acceleration for HTTPs to the platform over the coming 18 months.

Backup specialist Idealstor today unveiled a SATA version of its parallel ATA disk-to-disk backup appliance. "Serial ATA provides [users] the benefit of maybe 20 to 30 percent faster backups over 10/100 or Gigabit Ethernet," explains Ben Ginster, Idealstor's channel marketing manager. The new device, he added, will be aimed primarily at SMBs.

Prices for the new backup appliance, which is available immediately, start at $5,000, compared to $4,000 for the existing parallel ATA version.

Security for Storage

Bivio Networks, which is better known for its networking products, is fluttering its eyelashes in the direction of the storage market, unveiling plans to build a "partner ecosystem" today, which it hopes will help clinch storage OEM deals. "The areas that we plan to investigate are encryption and decryption and data compliance," explains Harbrinder Kang, Bivio's vice president of business development.Vendors such as Decru could be a perfect fit, according to Kang, who sees his firm's application acceleration devices as a foundation for storage security software. Storage security vendors, he adds, could apply polices to data passing through the devices. (See Bivio Launches 500 Appliance.)

Data Compression

Storage compression specialist StoreWiz will today offer an iSCSI upgrade for its STN-5000 NAS device. (See Storewiz Intros STN-5000, and Data Compression: The Squeeze Is On!.) "We're expanding from file level to block level access," explains Yakov Cohen, StoreWiz's vice president of global marketing.

The software upgrade, which costs $2,000, will be available sometime this quarter.

Database AccelerationApplication delivery specialist Crescendo Networks will unveil a software upgrade designed to extend the reach of its Maestro CN5000 device into data storage. (See Crescendo Goes Blade.)

According to Hooman Beheshti, Crescendo's vice president of technology, the new software, dubbed Application Level Processing (ALP), can accelerate content across Web servers, application servers and database servers. He tells Byte and Switch these could speed content delivery by up to 10 times compared to the standard Maestro device, which focuses mainly on web servers.

The ALP software upgrade, which will be available in the third quarter of this year, is priced at $7,500.

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Availl Inc.

  • Bivio Networks Inc.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Crescendo Networks Ltd.

  • Decru Inc.

  • Expand Networks Inc.

  • Idealstor LLC

  • Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR)

  • Sourcefire Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE)

  • Tacit Networks Inc.0

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