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Startup Sandial Systems' Shadow 14000 Fibre Channel Switch Helps With Consolidation

Makers of cables, hard drives, and switches are scrambling for ways to elevate their wares' value to the boardroom. Many are left to latch on to partners who meet business-technology executives head-on. But some are trying to inject unseen intelligence into components that could kick-start outright business improvements. To that end, Startup Sandial Systems on began shipping this month the Shadow 14000 Fibre Channel switch, which provisions storage area network resources on a per-connection basis thanks to intelligent software inside, called ConnectIQ.

"Combined with product lifecycle management, the new switch is improving our time to market and our ability to reuse business processes," says Pierre Baudet, business systems manager at footwear maker and distributor New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. "The Sandial switch lets us stay online and maintain performance during backups and tests, letting us stay up all the time for workers around the world."

While other switches let storage administrators dole out job priorities, they lock out all but the most important traffic. With Shadow, those same administrators could allow certain percentages of multiple jobs to make it though the pipe. Armed with this intelligent switch, the administrators could maintain control while consolidating storage, align app resources with business priorities, and allocate bandwidth to guarantee app service levels.

Eric Blonda, director of product marketing at Sandial, says the switch should let administrators ensure levels of performance to users accustomed to regular performance degradation because of jobs like E-mail backup during the day. "We aim to keep app response time low," says Blonda, "and the number of connected users high."

Baudet says New Balance tried other Fibre Channel switches, but "Sandial applies Ethernet quality of service and reliability. No other Fibre Channel switch has the same functionality."

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