HP Newsroom > News releases
Storage Networking Industry Leaders Forge Breakthrough Interoperability Initiatives
NEW YORK, June 4, 2001
Storage industry leaders Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ), EMC Corporation, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, International Business Machines Corporation and McDATA® Corporation today announced several industry-changing initiatives intended to provide storage product customers with the first qualified cross-vendor, interoperable storage networking solutions to come from the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). The initiative also provides improved cooperative support among storage product vendors.
The six companies have:
Based on the groundbreaking cooperation among the six companies, the SNIA also announced today the new Supported Solutions Forum which will expand upon these initiatives. The six companies will serve as founding members of the forum. (See the SNIA news release at www.snia.org.)
Open SAN solutions are standards-based storage networks that provide tested interoperability of products supplied by multiple vendors. Intended benefits include increased flexibility for networked storage infrastructures, reduced costs from consolidating SAN islands, greater investment protection and maximized value of storage networking technology. Storage networking customers are now able to deploy heterogeneous SANs from multiple suppliers with interoperability and improved support.
"Since we support storage networking products manufactured by all six of these companies, we see this as an important milestone in the delivery of open SAN solutions," said Bob Bryar, chief technical architect, Comdisco Availability Services. "This industry-wide approach to improving interoperability will allow us to maximize the flexibility of the storage solutions we offer customers."
"The fact that competing storage vendors have been able to agree on configurations and software levels to jointly qualify and have entered into cooperative support agreements is remarkable," said Sean Derrington, senior program director at the META Group. "Even more remarkable is the fact that this initiative has already permeated the storage industry through the SNIA. The storage market is entering an exciting new world of multi-vendor cooperation."
"Because we have products from all six storage networking vendors installed in our data centers, we are pleased to hear about this important milestone in the delivery of multi-vendor SAN solutions," said Rick Stracner, storage architect, Acxiom Corporation. "We applaud each of these companies for cooperatively bringing a new level of SAN interoperability to customers to make it easier to manage large, open, heterogeneous SANs."
Initial Open SAN Solutions
The open SAN solutions qualified by the six companies consists of 128-port Fibre Channel fabrics that allow a variety of server platforms to access data residing on Compaq StorageWorks®, EMC Enterprise Storage, Hitachi Data Systems Freedom Storage and IBM Enterprise Storage Server. One solution uses Brocade SilkWorm® Fabric Switches and the other uses McDATA ED-5000 Directors. Each storage system and its associated servers are logically partitioned into a vendor-specific data zone. The Fibre Channel fabric is shared by all four data zones. Detailed information about the configurations can be found at www.snia.org/ssf.
Streamlined Customer Support, Available Now
The bilateral cooperative support agreements announced today are intended to provide procedures for handling customer service calls seamlessly and expeditiously in a multi-vendor environment. Customers will receive support in accordance with the terms of their support agreements with individual vendors, and the individual vendor's obligation to provide the specified level of support under those agreements will remain unchanged. Under the new cooperative support agreements, vendors will be able to contact each other and share information to streamline the troubleshooting of issues arising in multivendor storage environments.
"As our customers' storage needs continue to grow, it is exciting to hear of the SNIA's breakthrough in open storage," said Bruce Cunningham, vice president of business development, Inflow. "The interoperability of open storage is becoming vital to better meet the needs of our customers' enterprise data storage needs. We, and our storage providers, view this as a critical development as we meet our exploding demand for data storage. It is reassuring to see that many of our current partners are leading this important initiative."
Next Steps by the SNIA
Future work of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum will bring enhancements to the initial open SAN solutions. Planned enhancements include expanding the size of the configurations, involving additional vendors, adding more components, increasing the level of component interoperability, adding multi-vendor switch interoperability and integrating popular storage networking applications.
"This announcement by the founding members of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum advances previous standards and plug fest work accomplished in the industry. Storage customers can now implement open SAN solutions with greater flexibility than ever before," said John McArthur, vice president, Storage Research, at IDC. "With this announcement, the storage networking industry has made a quantum leap toward mutually supported open SAN interoperability."
"It's great to see these leaders in the storage industry come together to develop solutions that truly benefit end users," said Thomas Brosnan, director of data center planning, Convergys. "This commitment to open storage allows us to leverage the benefits we gain from our existing products into one solid solution that makes the most sense for our storage needs, and that allows us to incorporate other vendor products and solutions as our needs grow."
"Until now the chances of a SAN user being able to have one host interface talk to several different vendors' storage products were next to none," said Nick Allen, vice president and research director, GartnerGroup. "I am pleased to see these leaders address this issue head on as well as smoothing the road for true fabric interoperability."
For more information about the open SAN solutions announced please refer to www.snia.org/ssf.
About Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)
Brocade provides the world's leading intelligent platform for networking storage. For more information visit the Brocade Web site at www.brocade.com or contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is a leading global provider of technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs that are sold in more than 200 countries. Information on Compaq and its products and services is available at www.compaq.com.
About EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC)
EMC Corporation is the world leader in information storage systems, software, networks and services, providing the information infrastructure for a connected world. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.EMC.com.
About Hitachi Data Systems
Committed to helping customers exploit the value of information technology for success in the Internet economy, Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), is a leading provider of business solutions for the world's most information-intensive corporations. For further information on Hitachi Data Systems, access www.hds.com.
About IBM Corporation
IBM is the world leader in storage systems, software, services and technology. IBM led all companies once again with over 400 storage patents in 2000. IBM's open storage solutions are designed for the rigors of e-business collaboration utilizing next generation concepts for open storage by integrating modular technologies including disk, tape and optical storage media, powerful processors, and rich software. For more information on the Enterprise Storage Server and its performance advantages over competing products, visit www.storage.ibm.com.
About McDATA Corporation (Nasdaq: MCDTA/MCDT)
McDATA is a global leader in open storage networking solutions. Recognized for its highly available, scalable and centrally managed SANs, McDATA's family of solutions represent the backbone of the SAN industry and address enterprise-storage problems. Information about McDATA can be found at www.mcdata.com.
About the SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not-for-profit organization, made up of over 200 companies and individuals spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIAmembers share a common goal: to set the pace of the industry by ensuring that storage networks become efficient, complete and trusted solutions across the IT community. To this end the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For information, contact the SNIA at 650-949-6720 or via e-mail at email@example.com or visit the SNIA Web site at www.snia.org.